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'Real breakthrough' in Alzheimer's diagnosis

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British scientists have developed a highly-advanced computer programme that can pinpoint the very early stages of Alzheimer's in a matter of hours rather than months.

John Wright, who has Alzheimer's, described the moment of "sheer panic" when he realized he something was wrong 12 years ago.

He has "absolutely zero" memory of what happened yesterday, he told John Humphrys, but had not seen a specialist doctor since he was prescribed the drug Aricept 10 years ago.

"I don't know anything coming my way," he said.

Simon Lovestone, consultant in old age psychiatry at Maudsley Hospital said the new test analysed patients' brain scans, meaning he could diagnose the disease with "a reasonable degree of confidence" in its early stages.

"We want to see how it beds down over the next year," he explained. "I see no reason why this shouldn't roll out across the country."


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