How diagnosing Alzheimer's early could impact health care
Submitted by Christine Lyon, Communications Specialist, Providence Health Care Research Institute
For the 25,000 Canadians that get diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease every year, an earlier diagnosis can help them get access to the right treatment and plan for the future before their symptoms worsen.
Currently, physicians rely on traditional imaging tests and observing signs and symptoms in order to diagnose Alzheimer’s. For individuals with cognitive difficulties, such as memory loss, measuring the proteins found in their cerebrospinal fluid (also known as biomarkers) has been shown to help correctly identify the underlying disease. Biomarker testing has also been shown to help predict whether mild symptoms are likely to progress to dementia.
A new study, IMPACT-AD, based at St. Paul’s Hospital is investigating how Alzheimer’s biomarker testing affects individuals and their families, medical decision-making and health care costs. Led by St. Paul’s clinical chemist Dr. Mari DeMarco, IMPACT-AD aims to improve care and support for people living with Alzheimer’s.
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