Genetic Score Predicts Age-Related Risk Of Alzheimer's Disease, University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Study Says

Alzheimer's disease was once unique among illnesses in that a definitive diagnosis could be made only after death. Symptoms of the devastating assault on the brain could be seen from the outside, but those external signs also could be associated with other types of dementia.

Opening up the skull reveals the telltale signs: A shriveled brain with expanded, fluid-filled spaces called ventricles. On a microscopic scale, the wreckage can be observed post-mortem with even more specificity.

In the past decade, diagnosis of Alzheimer’s while a patient is still living has cleared up considerably. Doctors can safely detect amyloid and tau deposits, telltale signs of the disease, in the living brain. When combined with cognitive tests, confirmation of the affliction can be made with much greater confidence than before.

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