On this episode I talked to Michael Racke, MD Medical Director of Neurology at Quest Diagnostics. Michael is a board-certified neurologist and formerly editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuroimmunology, an expert in dementia and brain disorders who has authored/co-authored 200 peer-reviewed studies, book chapters, and reviews on neuroimmunologic diseases, including dementia.
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Michael discusses promising advancements in our understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He explains how imaging and biomarkers have allowed earlier and more accurate diagnosis, moving from just a clinical picture to actually visualizing amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain. We continue with a review of treatments including the removal of amyloid that are now showing delayed cognitive decline and as Michael says there are now over 100 potential treatments are in clinical trials, attacking Alzheimer’s at different stages.
We discuss the challenge of determining the exact relationship between amyloid and Alzheimer’s and the continued work to delineate this and that better diagnosis has also led to the recognition of Alzheimer’s variants affecting different parts of the brain.
Listen in to hear how the timing of treatment is critical; intervening before extensive neurodegeneration allows the best chance of efficacy and the importance of encouraging, lifestyle measures like weight loss and cognitive exercise that may delay onset. As Michael puts it, patients should know diagnosis and dialogue around options is no longer hopeless “Now we have options, and those options are just getting better and better all the time.”
This article was originally published on the Dr. Nick – The Incrementalist blog and is republished here with permission.
About the Show
About the Show
For years Dr. Nick van Terheyden aka Dr. Nick, has served as a voice on the impact of new technologies on healthcare, earning a reputation as a leading authority on where the future of medicine is going. Combining powers of observation and real world experience, Dr. Nick has seen many predictions come true and makes the case that innovations in healthcare can be accomplished incrementally, not just by moonshot events. Tune in to hear Dr. Nick: The Incrementalist and his guests discuss what the future of healthcare looks like, how we will get there, and what it will take to improve healthcare for all.
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