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Proposed Criteria Target Early Alzheimer's Diagnosis

Proposed Criteria Target Early Alzheimer's Diagnosis

PARIS, July 9 -- Episodic impaired memory rather than developing dementia is the crucial clinical symptom pointing to an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, according to a proposal for revised diagnostic criteria.

The proposed criteria, a work in progress by an international consortium, are intended to permit earlier and "more specific Alzheimer's disease diagnosis" than the 24-year-old National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Diseases and Stroke (NINCDS) and the Alzheimer's disease and Related Disorders Association (ADRDA) criteria now in use.

The new criteria, which rely on a mix of imaging studies and biomarkers, combined with evidence of memory deficit, were published online today by Lancet Neurology.

Bruno Dubois, M.D., of INSERM and the Universit Pierre et Marie Curie, and an international working group, said the new criteria "move away from the traditional two-step approach of first identifying dementia according to the degree of functional disability, and then specifying its cause."

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