Updated guidelines describe three stages of disease and potential use of biomarkers
TUESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- The National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association have updated their diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease for the first time in 27 years; the guidelines have been published online April 19 in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.
The update offers new approaches for clinicians and provides scientists with more advanced guidelines for research on the diagnosis of and treatments for the disease. The guidelines specifically describe three distinct stages of Alzheimer's disease: the preclinical stage of the disease, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia due to Alzheimer's pathology.
In addition, the guidelines address the use of imaging techniques and biomarkers to advance research efforts. The updated guidelines were developed with the ability to change with emerging technologies and advances in the understanding of biomarkers and the mechanisms of action of the disease.
"Alzheimer's research has greatly evolved over the past quarter of a century. Bringing the diagnostic guidelines up to speed with those advances is both a necessary and rewarding effort that will benefit patients and accelerate the pace of research," Richard J. Hodes, M.D., director of the National Institute on Aging, said in a statement.