The Importance of Early Diagnosis for Alzheimer's Disease

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Arjun V. Masurkar, MD, PhD, Clinical Core Director of New York University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, to discuss why early detection and diagnosis is vital to treating Alzheimer’s Disease.

2/4/2020 #2277






"This is one on one. Dr. Arjun Masurkar is clinical core director of new york University's Alzheimer’s disease center good to see you doctor. Thanks for having me. So like millions of Americans our family has been dealing with Alzheimer’s slash dementia by the way clarify the difference? So dementia is sort of the umbrella term. Yeah. Dementia means a loss of cognitive abilities that you've had to the degree that you're dependent on others. Alzheimer's disease is the number one cause of dementia with age--yeah. But 70% of cases we've dealt with our family and other people have as well so here's the thing you talk about quote early detection devil's advocate why do we want to know? Well our efforts in this field are kind of going in parallel, we're trying to find treatments, cures for the disease, but we're finding out is that those cures are probably only gonna work at the very early stages so we have to find ways to detect the disease at its earliest stages for the treatment point of view. Right. Another point of view is that families and patients a lot of them want to know early on what is going on so they can predict so they can prepare for the future Let's try this I don't know if the word cure is a funny word and I won't say your business from a clinical point of view, how close are we to a quote cure or do we even know that? I don't think we know that yet and I think that we have to sort of temporize what we mean by cure I think probably a more legitimate goal would be a medication or a series of medications that can slow down the disease, but not necessarily just halt it and certainly not reverse it. Mm-hmm, try this, by the way you can tell we're in new york city you can hear the sound around us I’m curious about this and again thank you for clarifying the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia. But I’m also curious about caregivers, I’ve seen others have seen the impact of Alzheimer’s has on caregivers how difficult is it for them and for families around the caregivers and the patient? It's difficult for caregivers on a multitude of levels, psychologically it's it's very hard to deal with someone with dementia as the disease progresses, financially it causes stress, people are getting older, those caregivers are getting older and having their own health problems so they're not able to take care of themselves as well. Let me try this doctor as people get older, does the likelihood that they'll have dementia increase it? It does in a way the peak onset of Alzheimer’s dementia is between 65 and 85 so that's really where..."