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Research by Nijmegen neurologist detects Alzheimer earlier

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NIJMEGEN – Neurologist Frank Erik de Leeuw may have discovered the earliest stages of Alzheimer disease. He concluded that older people with slight memory problems suffer from a shrinking ‘hippocampus.’ This part of the brains controls, among other things, memory retention. It was already known that the hippocampus of Alzheimer patients shrinks, but this had not been yet observed with those complaining of only slight memory loss. Until now, complaints about slight memory loss often were dismissed as being a subjective matter, but De Leeuw and his colleagues found that the 500 otherwise healthy complainants indeed had a shrinking brain and that as a result of these findings the disease can now be diagnosed at an earlier stage. Their findings were published recently in the medical journal Neurology.