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"Early method to detect Alzheimer's found: Signal gives warning nine years before first symptoms"

The Province

The Province

20 Jun 2022

Category: Diagnostic Test

Rating: (1½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

WASHINGTON -- A subtle change in a memory-making brain region seems to predict who will get Alzheimer's disease nine years before symptoms appear, scientists said yesterday.
The finding is part of a wave of research aimed at early detection of the deadly dementia -- and one day even preventing it.

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 2 of 8
Availability of Test Satisfactory
Costs of Testing Not Satisfactory
Diagnostic Options Not Satisfactory
Disease Mongering Satisfactory
Evidence Not Satisfactory
Harms of Testing Not Applicable
Novelty of Test Not Satisfactory
Quantification of Diagnostic Accuracy/Benefits Not Satisfactory
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

PET scans of an area of the brain in normal, middle-aged and older people may help determine who will eventually develop Alzheimer's Disease, according to research presented at a conference organized by the Alzheimer's Association.

While the article does present data on the sensitivity (true positive rate) of the test, it does not discuss the specificity (true negative rate). The article does state that these results need to be confirmed in subsequent research. Methods of possibly preventing Alzheimer's are also briefly discussed but the presentation of the research is too sketchy to properly evaluate the strength of the findings.

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