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Psychological and behavioral symptoms delayed by early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

People with Alzheimer’s disease are able to manage their everyday activities longer and they suffer from less psychological and behavioural symptoms if the diagnosis is made and treatment begun at a very early phase of the disease, indicates a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern .

The study followed people with Alzheimer’s disease over a course of three years. The study participants were diagnosed either at the very mild or mild phase of the disease and treated within the standard healthcare system.

According to the study, people with a very ’s disease at the time of the diagnosis and start of the Alzheimer’s disease targeted therapy are better able to manage their everyday activities than people diagnosed at a more advanced phase of the disease. In addition, in relation to the stage of the disease, they also had less psychological and behavioural symptoms during the follow-up.

According to the researchers, Psychologist Ilona Hallikainen and Adjunct Professor, Psychologist Tuomo Hänninen, the results show that an early detection of the disease is important. People with Alzheimer’s disease may be able to live at home longer if they are able to manage their daily activities and have less psychological and behavioural symptoms.

In addition, the study enhanced knowledge about the use of common diagnostic tests during a follow-up. The results have been accepted for publication in the journal International Psychogeriatrics. Ms. Hallikainen presented the results at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Boston.


Research Article: Progression of Alzheimer’s disease during a three-year follow-up using the CERAD-NB total score: Kuopio ALSOVA study. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1041610213000653 Published online: 16 May 2013

ALSOVA — A 5-year follow-up study: Improving existing and economic models of Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. From the individual and public health point of view, it is an important and increasing health problem.

The primary aims of the study are to determine measures for Alzheimer’s disease progression, quality of life, changes of care, probability of institutionalization, and long-term costs of care within the standard healthcare system. Furthermore, this study provides insights into and new clinical and health economic evidence on both persons with Alzheimer’s disease and their family caregivers. This new information is welcomed to improve and to study the cost-effectiveness of provided care.

The ALSOVA project is a prospective and controlled AD study conducted by the Unit of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, . The study is carried out in collaboration with the Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Unit (PHORU), School of Pharmacy and Department of Nursing Science, .

A total of 240 patient-caregiver dyads with a very mild or mild Alzheimer’s disease at baseline and with a family caregiver from three municipalities in Finland were recruited to the study soon after the Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis, and followed up annually for 5 years. Both the patient and caregiver related efficacy parameters were measured annually. Data for health and social care utilization is also collected from AD patients and their caregivers.

Primary Investigator and Group Leader is Dr Anne Koivisto, MD, PhD, Unit of Neurology, University of Eastern Finland and NeuroCentre, Kuopio University Hospital.

University of Eastern Finland