Behavior: A to Z Guide

The year 2003 brought new insights into Alzheimer's, advances in diabetes and some deadly new diseases

A

ALZHEIMER'S

New estimates show that by 2050, a record 13.2 million older Americans will be affected by the progressive brain disease, 3 million more than previous projections. Although the illness is still definitively diagnosed only at autopsy, advances are being made in finding it earlier. Doctors can improve the accuracy of detection 30% by combining various cognitive tests with positron-emission tomography (PET). PET is an imaging technique that shows the brain's metabolism at work. Preliminary research suggests that it may also be possible for physicians to detect certain telltale signs of Alzheimer's disease--the so-called amyloid and tau proteins--in the...

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