Behavioral And Psychological Symptoms Can Be Prevented by Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's disease (AD) can progress into a debilitating state later on in the patient's life. The sufferer is often no longer able to perform essential everyday activities. However, the University of Eastern Finland has conducted a recent study in this field which found that it is possible to save these people from a lot of unnecessary suffering simply by making an early diagnosis of the disease. This is usually the responsibility of the doctors, who should be able to recognize the early symptoms of this disease, as it gets worse gradually through stages.
This study involved people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. They were followed for three years. The participants in the study were only in the beginning to mild phases of the disease when the study began. Their treatment was being carried out through standard healthcare with doctors who had their own systems in place for dealing with patients at the early, very mild, and advanced phases of the disease.
Research Study Discoveries
Researchers discovered that people who were at a very mild phase of the Alzheimer's disease were better adapted to managing the activities of everyday individual living than those who were diagnosed when the disease had already developed into a more advanced phase. The stage of the disease also directly correlated to the amount of psychological and behavioral follow-up that was needed for management of the patient's symptoms from the disease. The follow-up data showed that the symptoms were greatly reduced in those patients who had been diagnosed earlier on in the Alzheimer's disease progression.
The researchers involved in this project were two psychologists, Tuomo Hänninen and IIlona Hallikainen, who are adjunct professors. The direct results of their study also indicated the importance of early diagnosis and detection of Alzheimer's. The study informs us that these patients will be able to live in their own homes, by themselves, and for a longer period of time if they are able to perform their daily activities without relying on others. Their psychological and behavioral symptoms will also be greatly reduced in nature and in severity.
In addition, the study greatly enhances the already available knowledge on the use of diagnostic tests that are employed during a follow-up; this is helpful in determining who is at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The journal International Psychogeriatrics has accepted the results of this study and will publish them. The results were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) by Ms. Hallikainen in Boston.