Statistics May be the answer to dementia
7/20/2011 11:08:05 AM
I am an 84 year old woman and a member of a genetic-Alzheimer's family. In my lifetime I am aware of eight family members who have been victims of AD, the last three in my generation. In the 21 years since an autopsy specified my mother's AD, dementia-research has mostly consisted of the very limited success of pharmaceutical trials, and more recent gene-testing. This tunnel-vision has resulted in my family's continuing tragedies.
Currently, researchers are reportedly seeking new ways to identify pre-symptomatic members of such genetic families. They are searching for methods to identify those at high-risk, who are not yet experiencing cognitive impairments, so as to test "preventive" medications or life-styles. There is no need of evaluating pre-clinical subjects, when critical diagnostic testing and histories already exist for those who have been diagnosed, or will be diagnosed, with such impairments. Current tests are now uncovering conditions that may be causing dementia, without the additional knowledge of possible linkage to commonality!
Causes and preventions of dementia would undeniably be uncovered in the comparative histories of millions of patients, in a "National/International Registry."A diagnostic framework and guiding terminology needs to be created, to organize categories, stages, and to be a vital public-reference as an ongoing global study of brain diseases. But can the historical impediments of our political and pharmaceutical limitations finally be overcome?