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Half of Alzheimer Disease Dementia Cases Are Mild

Among Framingham Heart Study participants, one in five cases were severe

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Half of Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia cases are mild, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Jing Yuan, M.D., from the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing, and colleagues characterized the distribution of severity of AD dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) among prevalent cases participating in the Framingham Heart Study (2004 to 2005: 381 participants; 2006 to 2007: 422 participants; 2008 to 2009: 389 participants).

The researchers found that among AD dementia participants, the pooled percentages were 50.4 percent for mild disease, 30.3 percent for moderate disease, and 19.3 percent for severe disease. The pooled percentages among all MCI and AD participants were 29.5 percent for MCI-not progressive, 19.6 percent for MCI-progressive, 25.7 percent for mild AD dementia, and 45.2 percent for the combined group of MCI-progressive and mild AD dementia.

“Early intervention in MCI or the mild stage of AD dementia has been the primary focus for AD research and drug development in recent years. We found that approximately 45 percent of all those who are cognitively impaired or diagnosed with AD dementia had early AD,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our results serve to inform the design of future research studies such as clinical and observational studies and provide optimal resource allocation for policy-making.”

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