By TODD NEALE
MedPage Today Staff Writer
It may soon be easier to predict which patients 65 and older will develop Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, researchers said.
A 15-point index including both conventional and newly identified risk factors for the conditions correctly classified 88 percent of patients according to their risk of developing dementia within six years, Deborah Barnes of the University of California San Francisco and colleagues reported online in Neurology.
More than half of patients with a high score — 56 percent of them — developed some form of dementia, compared with 4.2 percent of those with a low score and 22.8 percent of those who fell in between.
The possibility that a tool could pinpoint the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease is an intriguing concept, especially since it is now estimated that every 70 seconds someone develops the condition, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. The association further estimates that about 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s.