Experts unveil new criteria for Alzheimer's disease

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Medical experts this week presented a major change in the diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease.

The guidelines, which are expected to be adopted this fall, would allow technology, such as brain scans, to be used to detect the disease even before noticeable memory problems or other symptoms appear, according to a story in The New York Times. Experts predict a significant increase in the number of people with Alzheimer's disease as a result of the guidelines.

The new guidelines reflect the belief that the disease is present years before dementia. They include criteria for three stages of the disease: preclinical disease, mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease and, lastly, Alzheimer's dementia, the Times reported. Experts presented the guidelines at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Honolulu.