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eBooks

Alzheimer’s Disease as a spectrum disorder

20/08/17

When it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease one size does not fit all. It should be considered a spectrum disorder, with precision medicine a key part of treatment

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a key healthcare challenge and with the added challenge of an ageing population, developing new treatments to tackle and prevent AD is a must. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of Dementia and in the U.S alone, in 2013, 5.2 million people – aged 64 years and over – were affected by AD. Reports show that this figure is expected to rise to 8.4 million by 2030 and 13.8 million by 2050.

Research is a key tool to tackling and understanding more about Alzheimer’s. In this ebook, Stuart Zola, PHD Professor in Psychiatry and Behaviour Sciences at Emory University, outlines how instead of a one size fits all idea, the understanding and research directions of AD could benefit from considering it as a spectrum disorder. As well as the role that precision medicine could play in the delaying the progression of the disease.

The application of precision medicine holds promise for the most effective and efficient way for us to discover and unpack the underlying neurology, genetics and genomic of varied AD profiles. Although precision medicine solutions are often characterised as still off in the future, if we think of precision medicine in broad terms there is a component of precision medicine that is available to us now, this is, environmental factors.

One environmental factor in particular, lifestyle. This can fruitfully guide effective individualised treatments and interventions that could instantly reduce our vulnerability to cognitive decline. In this ebook, Professor Zola reviews the idea of Alzheimer’s disease as a spectrum disorder and discusses the link between this and the promise of precision medicine. He also describes several aspects of precision medicines lifestyle components that provide immediate ways of intervening to reduce the vulnerability to cognitive decline.

Precision medicine is sometimes referred to as personalised medicine and refers to the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient.

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