More than half of people with Alzheimer’s disease have mild dementia. This is the somewhat reassuring conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at Boston University in the United States. Published on December 26 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and relayed by Why Doctor ?, it reveals that more than half of cases of Alzheimer’s disease suffer from mild dementia and that only one in five patients represents a case of severe dementia.
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In order to reach this conclusion, they analyzed data from an American epidemiological study started in 1948, targeting people between the ages of 50 and 94 at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive impairment. By limiting themselves to the periods 2004-2005, 2006-2007 and 2008-2009, they discovered that 50.4% of successful participants with Alzheimer’s disease were mild cases of dementia, that just under a third (30.3%) were moderate cases and 19.3% severe cases.
Objective: therapies to slow the disease
For researchers, the fact that more than one in two patients with Alzheimer’s disease suffers from mild dementia underlines the need for research and treatment in order to slow the decline or prevent the progression of the disease. “It is crucial to determine the risk factors or to develop therapies that could modify the trajectory of the disease in order to improve the quality of life of individuals and to alleviate the socio-economic burden”, assures Rhoda Au, professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine. Indeed according to him, “early intervention for mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia has been the main focus of Alzheimer’s disease research and drug development in recent years.
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