Dutch scientists build model to predict Alzheimer’s decline

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Scientists at the Alzheimercentrum in Amsterdam have developed a model to predict how quickly dementia patients decline.

The new model is based on the data of almost 1,000 Alzheimer’s sufferers.

“When the diagnosis has been made, one thing that is certain is that the patient’s condition will worsen,” centre director Wiesje van der Flier told broadcaster NOS.

“But how quickly that will happen depends very much on the person, but it is something every sufferer wants to know.”

The new model will give both doctors and patients an insight into the future prospects for Alzheimer sufferers, Van der Flier said. “We are using a simple test done over several years by a group of patients and compared them to the data we gathered at the time of the diagnosis.”

Taking into account the patient’s age, sex, and the results of a brain scan these data can predict how quickly thinking skills will diminish for new patients as well, she said.

Van der Flier emphasised that the prediction can never be 100% correct, but will do much to relieve Alzheimer’s patients of the uncertainty about their future.

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