Alzheimer's disease has no cure and no treatment to stop its progression, but early and accurate detection and diagnosis are crucial.
Why Early Detection and Diagnosis?
- It can be a relief to understand what is going on, for the individual with Alzheimer's and the family, and can provide time to plan for future care.
- It may allow preventive steps for brain health that could potentially delay some symptoms.
- Individuals with a cognitive impairment due to a treatable condition (not due to Alzheimer’s) can receive appropriate treatments.
- Upon diagnosis, those with the disease can discuss treatments to slow progression with their medical professional. Scientists now believe that the damage to the brain that results from Alzheimer’s disease may begin much earlier than previously thought—as much as a decade or more before symptoms appear. And it is likely that treatment will be most effective at the earlier, pre-symptomatic stage.
- Those who are diagnosed will receive more rapid access to innovative treatments that may soon enter the market. They can also join a clinical trial registry or participate in a clinical trial.
Early detection and diagnosis is a major focus for UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. We are working with internationally renowned experts to outline a national strategy for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our networks each work with partners on outreach to their communities and to health professionals to urge wider use of cognitive assessments and greater awareness of the benefits of early detection and diagnosis.
Ask your doctor about a “check-up from the neck up”
Ask your doctor about checking your brain health or cognitive function as part of your annual wellness exam. Like proactive screening for cancer, heart disease, or vision problems, a regular cognitive assessment can help you and your doctor identify changes early.
UsAgainstAlzheimer’s is urging the medical community and policymakers to adopt a “check-up from the neck up” as part of annual physicals and wellness exams, including Medicare’s annual wellness visit. Our WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s Network collaborated with the National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health to survey their members on Alzheimer’s detection and diagnosis rates.
Where Are We on "The Path to 2025? Early and Accurate Detection and Diagnosis"?
This panel of experts at our 2017 Summit discussed strategies in prevention and early detection, emphasizing the need to train clinicians, utilize technology and data, and transform payment and reimbursement practices.
An Alzheimer’s XPRIZE
The Alzheimer’s Team, which includes our chairman, George Vradenburg, received top honors at the XPRIZE Visioneers Summit, and we are now working on a competition with a cash prize for a way to detect the presence of the disease before symptoms occur.
Promoting Early Detection of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Our free monthly Alzheimer’s Talks teleconferences, such as the examples listed below, often address various aspects and benefits of diagnosis and early detection: