Alzheimer's disease turned out to be six different diseases

A new study with the participation of many international experts has shown that it was a mistake to consider Alzheimer's disease as an isolated disease. There are at least six different cognitive symptoms that should not be limited to a single diagnosis. Because of this, the methods of diagnosis and treatment are ineffective - instead of influencing the problem, doctors fought against an ephemeral "disease".

According to the lead researcher, Shubhabrat Mukherjee, Alzheimer's disease is similar to breast cancer - it is also a complex of diseases. And if it was possible to find a drug against one of them, then clinical trials failed when the next patient had a different problem. I had to re-examine and rethink the conditions of 4000 patients in order to find out: in addition to early and late Alzheimer's, there are also diseases of the same name, memory, executive function of the brain and spatial-visual function.

In 39% of patients, problems were found in all four new cognitive zones, but in 27% there were sharp differences in the assessment of the state of memory - it was almost in order. The rest of the patients were divided into small groups of 5-6%, in each of which anxiety symptoms were observed only in two cognitive zones, but these pairs were different everywhere. Scientists conducted a study of the genome of patients and, to their surprise, found 33 markers that clearly divided them into six cognitive domains.

This is not just a rethinking of the concept of Alzheimer's disease, but a small revolution in medicine. Now we know about the existence of six pathways for the development of the disease, each with its own pronounced set of symptoms and genetic "signature", which allows you to deploy case studies in new directions. And start diagnosing the disease and treating people many times more accurately than before.