-Dr.Kathy Johnson, PhD, CMC
Researchers and doctors alike recently convened in Hawaii for the annual Alzheimer’s Association meeting. Perhaps one of the most important findings was from U.S. researchers, which explained early Alzheimer’s detection could cut the cost of care by 30 percent. To help bring early detection into action, the National Institute on Aging, along with the Alzheimer’s Association, set up new guidelines for detecting Alzheimer’s even before symptoms occur. Seven VA medical centers have already started this early screening with a two-minute memory tests for patients over 70. Those who failed the test (about 70% of participants) were then tested for dementia, and 76% of those tested were found to have dementia. These findings could not only significantly reduce the cost of care for many Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, but could also help give families more time to create a better care system for their loved ones with the disease in order to create a better quality of life for them.