Preclinical phase of Alzheimer's may last more than 20 years

03/20/2013 | MolecularImaging.net

It takes 17 years for amyloid plaque accumulation to reach positive-test levels, as determined through PET imaging with carbon-11-labeled Pittsburgh compound B, and this indicates the preclinical phase of Alzheimer's disease may be lengthy, according to a study published in The Lancet. The study also found that atrophy of the hippocampus takes more than four years and that it takes 3.3 years of declining memory before patients are given a score of 1 in the standard rating for dementia. "Results from this study show, for what is to our knowledge the first time, an association between the rates of beta-amyloid deposition and memory decline in patients with AD, in whom faster deposition was significantly associated with faster memory decline," researchers said.

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