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British researchers are hoping to spot Alzheimer’s before symptoms appear, with the help of 250 volunteers.
The £6.9million study could revolutionise the treatment of Alzheimer’s and lead to drugs to halt its process before irreversible damage is done to the brain.
Experts believe the clear symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as severe memory loss, confusion and mood changes, only appear after the disease has progressed for many years.
Researcher Jennifer Lawson, from Oxford University, says: “Over the last decade or more, 99% of clinical trials into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have failed.
“We think the reason for that is we are simply trying these in people far too late.
“By the time someone comes to their GP and they think they might have some memory problems and they get a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it’s likely the brain has been under attack from this illness for 10 or even 20 years before.”
Around 650,000 in the UK are believed to suffer from dementia, most having Alzheimer’s. The number of dementia patients is predicted to reach a million within the next 10 years.
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