Researchers have discovered a promising new way to discover the severity of Alzheimer's disease on a patient-to-patient basis, according to Healthday News. By measuring a certain protein, they can estimate how much the condition will affect a patient.
"What's promising is that we can get such clear signals through an indicator known as a biomarker," said Monique Breteler, an epidemiologist with University Medical Center Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the news source reports. "It will be a matter of time, and resources, to find the markers or panels of markers in blood that can be used to help predict or diagnose the disease."
So, while older adults still won't be able to go to a doctor's in order to uncover their own risk for the disease, families are now likely to have a better way to gauge how much care a senior will require.
Those who are looking after a dementia patient may want to consider adding safety measures to the house such as a medical alarm. This device can be used to instantly send a medical alert to a call center in the case of an emergency.
The Alzheimer's Association estimates that there are almost 15 million Americans caring for 5.4 million patients with Alzheimer's disease.