Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Expert panel says “no” to widespread testing for Alzheimer’s, dementia

March 25, 2014

About the Author

photo of Stephanie Watson

Stephanie Watson, Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch

Stephanie Watson was the Executive Editor of the Harvard Women’s Health Watch from June 2012 to August 2014. Prior to that, she has worked as a writer and editor for several leading consumer health publications, including … See Full Bio
View all posts by Stephanie Watson


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

May 4, 2014

Very thoughtful, informative article Stephanie. the thing i liked the most in your article is the chart that you have posted about when to see a doctor, which describes what’s normal and what’s not about forgetting things. so nice of you Stephanie. 🙂

April 2, 2014

Your diet determines your health

protein tozu
April 24, 2014

This is a very thoughtful, informative article. Thanks for sharing it!

Khalid Iqbal
March 30, 2014

Thanks for guidance.

March 28, 2014

Early detection is key.

Kathleen Casey
March 28, 2014

As an Australian with access to national health scheme and as a clinical psychologist all I could think of here is that diagnosia is still very difficult to confirm except post Mortimer so imagine all the Americans and expats who are reliant on health insurance who will be denied such ( meaning de bird access and claim denial). There would be a significant number of symptoms that a health or one of your HMOs would consider as related illnesses. Imagine the challenge of arguing against these denials with health insurance companies!

March 27, 2014

Thank you for the comments

March 27, 2014

This is a great detection tool.

wedding planner website
March 27, 2014

Alzheimer’s can be cured with the early stages of treatment. It was a scientific information to read and can be treated well during the early stages of the diseases.

March 27, 2014

There is no cure, early, or at any other time.

March 26, 2014

Also using “Scholar Google” I found 90,400 citations when searching for “Alzheimer’s prevention strategies”. There are plenty of things that can be applied, especially if someone knows that they are likely to get Alzheimer’s. I think your article has the potential to mislead a lot of people.

Simon M
March 26, 2014

The “experts” you quote need to keep up with the literature. They are misinformed. By relying on their unsubstantiated opinions rather than scientific and published facts you are joining them in misleading your readers.

March 26, 2014

The recommendation made by a panel of experts is ridiculous. Let’s stick our collective heads in the sand. Ignorance is bliss (NOT)! There are at least 3 different tests that do predict whether you will have Alzheimer’s or not. There are different strategies available today to address Alzheimer’s. No, there isn’t a magic pill to take. No magic pill, no cure (NOT)! How about prevention. It would be a lot better if articles like this were written in Latin. It would be easier to keep people in the dark (smiling)

April 23, 2014

This talk about prevention is very misleading . How can a person who never gets Alzheimer’s say they prevented it . There is no way to prove that . Just because they take a certain pill or eat a certain food or herb does not in any way prove they prevented the disease .They could just be one of the lucky ones who for whatever reason never got Alzheimer’s .There are quite a few of us. The only way to indicate efficacy is to conduct a double blind controlled study of a large population over an entire lifetime . To my knowledge no such study has been conducted .

March 26, 2014

I was looking for information about dementia tests.

Greg Mills
March 26, 2014

Stephanie, The calculous will turn upside down the day an effective drug for AD is approved by the FDA. A Non-invasive, fast and accurate early AD screen would allow non AD patients with dementia to get help that is more likely to be available to them than those with AD. Also, an AD screening test would facilitate clinical trials by more selectively choosing the right people to be in studies. If you put the question to the US Preventive Services Task Force, ” if a drug is found that can stop or even reverse the progression of AD, wouldn’t an accurate screening test for older people with dementia be strongly recommended?” The answer is yes. The phones of every general practitioner will ring off the hook with people demanding to be screened…. Good article but you missed the bigger issue, treating AD early is turning out to be critical.

March 25, 2014

While it’s true that there is currently a lack of effective treatment, it is not entirely accurate that there are no reliable screening tools. For example, a team at Cedars-Sinai have developed a retina scanning methodology that allows the identification of amyloid plaques before one develops the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Early days though.

film izle
March 25, 2014

Thank you. Important information.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.