Giving Compass' Take:

• Steven DeKosky and Todd Golde, researchers studying Alzheimer's, discuss new studies that are showing promise for diagnosing potential symptoms of this disease early enough to delay or prevent it. 

• How can more donors invest in scientific research targeted toward curing Alzheimer’s? 

• Watch this video on hope and help for those facing this disease. 

Many people who have problems with their memory, especially if they are elderly, worry that they have Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts at least 5.5 million people in the U.S. and brings tremendous burdens to families as well. This concern is paramount among those who have seen a family member, friend or colleague develop this insidious progressive disease.

Now, there is a real possibility that blood tests may aid in firming up a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and that additional blood tests may help to determine how the disease will progress. Studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Los Angeles in July demonstrated the utility of various blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease.

The studies also suggested that these tests could identify individuals with the underlying AD pathology years before patients show symptoms. This could allow people who have positive tests to enroll in “prevention trials” that could delay or even prevent the disease.

Both of us are physician-scientists who have studied Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases for many decades. The field has gained a great deal of knowledge about AD, but it has been challenging to develop novel therapies.

Read the full article about new Alzheimer's studies by Steven DeKosky and Todd Golde at The Conversation.