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AARP Bulletin

New Guidelines for Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease

Experts now say the disease develops for years before symptoms show

En español | New guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, published Tuesday by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association, set forth methods for identifying the disease before it progresses to full-blown dementia, and for the first time include lab and brain-imaging tests that can help identify Alzheimer's as the likely cause of a person's mental decline.

So far, though, there are no therapies that alter the devastating course of Alzheimer's disease. And in a media briefing Monday, authors of the new diagnosis guidelines emphasized that while testing for Alzheimer's pathology in the brain may one day be used to identify the disease at much earlier stages, today the tests are primarily a research tool. They are not ready for routine use in doctors' offices. … Back to Article

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