Alzheimer's, faster diagnosis thanks to the new guidelines

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Alzheimer's, faster diagnosis thanks to the new guidelines
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A path to arrive at the diagnosis of Alzheimer's earlier, more efficiently and, where possible, with a lower number of tests. This is the objective of the first European inter-society recommendations on the diagnosis of cognitive disorders and Alzheimer's. The document, created by experts from the major scientific societies in the sector and coordinated by specialists from the University of Genoa – Irccs Ospedale Policlinico San Martino, the University of Geneva and the Irccs Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli of Brescia, was published in Lancet Neurology journal.

“The patient with an initial cognitive deficit has approximately a 50% chance of having Alzheimer's or another of the various pathologies that cause neurocognitive disorders”, explains Flavio Nobili, co-coordinator of the study and professor of Neurology at the University of Genoa. Today there are guidelines dedicated to different neurocognitive pathologies and a wide range of tests. “But when the neurologist sees the patient for the first time he still doesn't know what pathology he suffers from”, specifies Nobili.

The new document, starting from the ways in which the symptoms present themselves, builds different diagnostic paths depending on the profile of the individual patient, allowing the responsible pathology to be identified more quickly and with less waste of resources. This, according to experts, will lead to a reduction in unnecessary instrumental tests by 70%.

The recommendations “may soon be updated for the use of Alzheimer's markers in the blood”, adds study coordinator Giovanni Frisoni, director of the Memory Center at the University Hospitals of Geneva. “All this will make it possible to intercept patients with Alzheimer's disease at the most suitable time and, in the not too distant future, to direct them to therapy with monoclonal antibodies which we hope will soon arrive in Europe and which, if administered to the right patients at a specific stage initial stage of the disease, may delay memory loss.”

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