New test for Alzheimer’s comes closer to approval

Alan Wu

January 24, 2011

In a significant step, a new brain scan that is meant to identify plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease has been unanimously recommended by an advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration, according to The New York Times.

Experts now predict that the test will be officially approved within a span of months.

"[The test is] a very positive thing," Maria Carrillo, senior director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer's Association, told the news source. "This is nothing but a positive for our families."

If the scan is made available to doctors, they will be able to better diagnose seniors who have Alzheimer's. This can, in turn, help families better plan for the care that an older adult will require as they age.

One device that may help individuals who are developing signs of the illness is a medical alarm system. This pill dispenser can be programmed to notify seniors when it's time to take different medications and send a medical alert to caregivers if doses aren't taken on time.

The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and 10.9 million unpaid caregivers are providing for these older adults.

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