The number of people with dementia could be twice as high as estimated, according to a new study. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, adds to the growing research that Alzheimer’s begins years before symptoms appear.
Researchers followed 445 senior participants for up to 10 years after their assessment to detect any changes. They found cognitively normal individuals, baseline elevated brain amyloid was significantly associated with worse cognitive measures after a median of 3.1 years (eg, 1.59 points worse on the Preclinical Alzheimer Cognitive Composite and 0.56 points worse on the Mini-Mental State Examination after 4 years).
The study and its use of the amyloid biomarker significantly expand knowledge about how Alzheimer’s begins, said James Brewer, MD, PhD, University of California San Diego neuroscientist and interim director of the Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, in a press release.