The New York Times recently ran a story that sheds some encouraging light on the early diagnosis and detection of Alzheimer’s disease. As of today, the official position of both the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association is that Alzheimer’s disease can be divided into three distinct phases. The final stage is marked by the development of dementia. The middle stage is marked by the emergence of mild problems that do not interfere with daily functions. And the earliest stage, the stage that was most recently discovered, has no noticeable symptoms, but it is marked by preliminary changes in the brain.
What does this mean to the future of Alzheimer’s? That researchers have found ways to detect Alzheimer’s disease early on, well before symptoms become problematic, is quite promising. But as it now stands, scientists have yet to take this research to the next logical level, which is preventing the full onset of the disease for those who have been diagnosed early. Nevertheless, this glimpse of hope has caused many renowned scientists to recommit themselves to the cause of finding a cure for this debilitating disease.