The 5 signs that ‘announce’ that you will have Alzheimer’s

Neurodegenerative diseases are of great concern to the scientific community and society, and that’s why experts are continually looking for signs and ways to improve current treatments. The latest to shed more light on this matter have been a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), who have published their findings in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The study has focused on improve early detection of these diseasesand has also improved the system that helps select patients who can undergo experimental therapies.

The current problem is that these diseases are detected very late despite the fact that there are some signs that appear decades before.. That is why the team turned to the Biobank, a biomedical database available to clinical researchers, where there are genetic, health and lifestyle records of half a million British volunteers between the ages of 40 and 69. Tests of problem solving, memory, reaction time, grip strength, measures of weight gain or loss, and falls were collected.

The 5 warning signs

The Pasqual Maragall Foundation will analyze 10,000 blood samples to detect early Alzheimer's.  Photo: Bigstock

With all this, they realized that the people who developed Alzheimer’s or frontotemporal dementia got worse results in:

  1. Problem resolution.
  2. Reaction time.
  3. Recall of lists of numbers.
  4. Prospective memory (ability to remember to do something later).
  5. Family figure matching tests.

Also, people with Alzheimer’s were more likely to fall. In this case, those who had progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) they fell double.

“Looking at the patient records, it became clear to us that they were subtly showing some degree of cognitive disability years before their symptoms were obvious enough to warrant a positive diagnosis,” explains Nol Swaddiwudhipong, first author of the paper. “This is a step forward for screening people over 50to those with hypertension or those who do not have enough physical activity in their life, to try to intervene early and help them reduce the risk.

“People shouldn’t worry for no reason if, for example, they have trouble remembering phone numbers,” says Tim Rittman, from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. “Even healthy individuals will have better and worse scores than others. But what is important is to talk to our doctor if we find that we are having trouble remembering in our daily lives,” she concludes.

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