Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pre dementia is greater than first thought

Upsurge in 'precursor to Alzheimer's' and related dementias bodes ill
By Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY
The incidence of mild cognitive impairment, often described as a precursor to Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, is much higher than expected, said Mayo Clinic scientists who presented research on Monday at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease meeting in Chicago.
Individuals in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging — a study launched in 2004 that is following 1,786 70- to 89-year-olds from Olmsted County, Minn. — developed mild cognitive impairment at a rate of about 5.3% per year.
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Study author Ronald Petersen and his colleagues had calculated that mild cognitive impairment (MCI) rates would have been closer to a 1% or 2% increase a year, based on Alzheimer's rates. "The rate of new MCI cases in this group was considerably higher than anticipated — about three times higher," he says.
The older a person was, the higher the rate, says Petersen, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Mayo. Also, men were two times more likely to develop it than women.
People with mild cognitive impairment have memory problems, but their other cognitive skills — like language and problem solving — remain intact. They also are much more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those in the general population.
ple with mild cognitive impairment have memory problems, but their other cognitive skills — like language and problem solving — remain intact. They also are much more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those in the general population.
Study: 'Pre-d
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