Medicine: Alzheimer's Rise

The disease may be twice as common as doctors thought

Reports about the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease seem almost as inexorable as the illness. Each new survey appears to uncover a higher incidence of this wasting affliction of the mind. One reason is the difficulty of diagnosis. Since there is no perfect test for the disease -- except upon autopsy -- doctors' estimates of who does or does not have it must rely on subjective assessments. As these methods improve, the number of people with the disease appears to increase.

In perhaps the most authoritative survey to date, scientists say Alzheimer's may be up to twice as common as was previously...

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