Diagnosis

Health professionals: Find Alzheimer’s and dementia resources

Do you work with patients or clients with cognitive impairment? Visit our new online portal for free clinical practice tools, training materials, and other resources for physicians, nurses, social workers, and other professionals.

You’ll find:

NIH-supported study shows promise for blood test for Alzheimer’s disease

Preliminary findings from a study by National Institute on Aging (NIA) scientists and colleagues showed that a blood test for Alzheimer’s-related proteins may accurately predict who might be at risk for the disease years before symptoms develop. The test measured the levels of several tau and amyloid proteins—the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease—in exosomes, microscopic organelles shed by brain cells.

New database helps clinicians, researchers find instruments to detect cognitive impairment in older adults

Evaluating the cognitive status of older patients in the primary care setting is one of the first steps in determining the cause of problems with memory, attention, and other aspects of thinking that can affect their health and well-being. With dozens of instruments available, finding the right ones to use can be a challenge. Now, clinicians and researchers have a new and simple way to find appropriate instruments—through a searchable database from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health.

NIA guide for primary care doctors on assessing cognitive impairment

Primary care physicians and their staffs are often the first healthcare professionals to see older patients with memory loss or other cognitive symptoms. These symptoms have many possible causes—some reversible, some not.

To help improve diagnosis, a new online “quick guide” from NIA’s Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center advises primary care professionals about the benefits of early screening and how to assess cognitive impairment in 10 minutes or less.

Helping primary care providers screen for cognitive impairment

Physicians and other medical staff can get resources for assessing older patients for cognitive impairment from the National Institute on Aging.

Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Older Patients

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Get practical information and tips for assessing patients with memory loss or other signs of cognitive impairment with brief, easy-to-use tools.

Diagnosis

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Learn how doctors use memory tests, brain scans, and other exams and procedures to diagnose dementia.

The Dementias

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This NIH guide is an overview of research on Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, mixed dementia, CTE, frontotemporal disorders, Lewy body dementia, and more.

Biomarkers can predict risk for Alzheimer’s several years before symptoms appear

Brain imaging and spinal-fluid testing can help predict which cognitively normal older people will develop Alzheimer’s disease as many as 7.5 years before symptoms appear, according to a new study supported in part by the NIA. The findings confirm the power of biomarkers as predictors of disease risk in the earliest, symptom-free stages of Alzheimer’s disease. These biomarkers may prove to be valuable tools in testing promising treatments in future studies.

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