New research identifies changes in the neurochemistry and anatomy of the brain that occur decades before people experience any symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Medical News Today reports.
The fact that more than 35 million people are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease has led some experts to refer to this condition as a “global epidemic.”
According to estimates, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease will double almost every 2 decades.
Detecting Alzheimer’s early on makes it easier to plan adequate care and begin therapeutic interventions as early as possible, which may alleviate the symptoms.
Researchers believe that Alzheimer’s begins many years before the onset of symptoms. In fact, emerging research has suggested that some Alzheimer’s-related brain mechanisms start at least 10 years before diagnosis.
However, it is not yet clear exactly when these changes occur. In a new study, researchers have set out to detect more precise “changepoints” in the evolution of Alzheimer’s biomarkers.
Laurent Younes, Ph.D., who is a professor and chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, is the lead author of the new paper, which appears in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.