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Mind & Mood
Do blood tests really help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease?
- By Anthony L. Komaroff, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Health Letter
Ask the doctor
Q. I hear there are new blood tests to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Is that true, and do they really help?
A. Several types of tests can help doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. That may not sound like a big deal, but when I was a young physician the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s was to examine the brain after a person had died. That’s too late.
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Alzheimer's Disease: A guide to diagnosis, treatment, and caregiving
Have you noticed memory problems piling up in ways that affect daily life in yourself or someone you love? Do you find yourself struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word, becoming confused in new places, or botching tasks that once came easily? More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and estimates suggest it will affect 13.8 million by 2050. Already, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. This Special Health Report, Alzheimer's Disease: A guide to coping, treatment, and caregiving, includes in-depth information on diagnosing Alzheimer’s and treating its symptoms.
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