One of my friends diagnosed with Alzheimer’s recently talked with his counselor about how depressing his cognitive problems are. He is losing hope that new Alzheimer’s drugs will be available in time to help him. Based on media reports, his counselor said she thought he was too pessimistic, and that new treatments were around the corner.
Should patients and families really expect new drugs to be available soon?
Dedicated scientists and suffering patients. Passionate advocates and expert study groups. Media reports of impending cures, calls for increased funding, and coordinated national efforts to fight disease.
Summary: A Swedish study questioned the accuracy of the proposed “Dubois criteria” for diagnosing Alzheimer’s. Professor Dubois says the criteria are very specific, and so will miss some cases, but will result in few false positive diagnoses.
Researchers are still working to validate the biomarkers included in the proposed criteria. If you are considering requesting one of these tests before researchers can confirm its accuracy, there are some practical considerations you may want to discuss with your doctor.
I wrote last month about a Swedish study questioning the accuracy of the proposed “Dubois criteria” for diagnosing Alzheimer’s. These criteria incorporate biomarkers such as results of imaging scans and spinal fluid tests.
Commenting on the Swedish study, Bruno Dubois, leader of the group of experts who developed the criteria, says other research has shown “a high accuracy of the new proposed criteria.” Professor Dubois is Director of the Memory and Alzheimer’s Institute at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris.
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