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Alzheimer's and Other Chronic Conditions
Re-examined in Light of Latest Research
Proof of a connection between Alzheimer's Disease and high cholesterol levels could change the way doctors counsel their older patients, researcher Rudolf Tanzi reported Oct. 15 at AAAS.
If additional evidence confirms the Alzheimer's-cholesterol connection, genetic testing of patients with high cholesterol levels may help doctors diagnose Alzheimer's at earlier stages, said Tanzi, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
"In the past, I would have said no to the test, but if it can be shown that high cholesterol predisposes a person to Alzheimer's, I'd be willing to suggest testing for Alzheimer's risk," Tanzi said during the AAAS Advancing Science seminar. "That's empowering you to change your lifestyle. If you can't empower someone, especially with a test for Alzheimer's, then you might make someone falsely confident or falsely anxious."
Tanzi's update on the brain disease affecting 4 million Americans was presented during the AAAS seminar focusing on "Human Health Frontiers." Research efforts to combat bioterrorism, as well as new approaches for addressing chronic human conditions such as depression, substance abuse, cancer and spinal cord injury, were also discussed.
For more information on the topics addressed at the seminar, "Human Health Frontiers," see the links below:
16 October 2002