Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Available online 26 July 2015
Increasing evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may begin decades before evidence of dementia, indicating that it may be a disorder of midlife rather than old age.
In the absence of long-term prospective studies from early adulthood specifically designed to address this question, a group of international experts examined evidence presently available from previous clinical and population studies to provide an evidence-based opinion as to whether such a change in conceptualization may be justified.
Although still lacking confirmation from dedicated prospective biomarker studies, there is already considerable evidence to suggest both risk factor exposure and brain changes may be already present in midlife.
Current evidence suggests (1) that a change in clinical approach notably involving promotion of cardiovascular health in persons with a family history of AD may considerably reduce disease risk and (2) that the development of biomarkers at this early stage will lead to the possibility of clinical trials at a much earlier stage.