Age is a major risk factor for the development of Alzheimer disease and other dementias. New technologies in brain imaging represent major advances in our ability to diagnose age-related cognitive and behavioral disorders.
The furor surrounding the recently proposed Alzheimer's Guidelines was provoked by their premature attempt to introduce early diagnosis, well before accurate tools are available. The same laudable, but currently clearly unrealistic ambition has propelled two of the worst suggestions for new diagnoses in DSM-5: Psychosis Risk and Mild Neurocognitive.
Depression is primarily a mood disorder, but it can also be viewed as a cognitive disorder for many older adults. In community samples, the co-occurrence of depression and cognitive impairment doubles every 5 years after the age of 70 years, and they are estimated to co-occur among at least 25% of persons older than 85 years.
The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) was set to begin recruiting this month for its clinical trial (www.alzheimers.org/clintrials/fullrec.asp?PrimaryKey=208) that will study how brain imaging technology can help measure the progression of mild cognitve impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer disease (AD).