Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Developments in Alzheimer ’s disease

A panel of blood tests that measure the amyloid burden has been developed in Australia. It shows promise as a predictor of Alzheimer’s dementia but it is not available yet. Right now, the best screening test might be a chelation challenge test for heavy metal accumulations. Most common culprits are high levels of aluminum, mercury and lead. Treatment of metal toxicity can show improvement. Antidepressants have also been tried, but they have not shown benefit. On the other hand, patients who have regular exercise and other positive lifestyle changes have been shown to have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and those afflicted have a much higher cognitive function. See Family Practice News (click here), August, 2011, pp. 2, 19, 52.

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