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early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease  
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Welcome to the website of the DESCRIPA study. The DESCRIPA study is a European collaborative study on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia. It affects 4 million subjects in the European Union. Alzheimer’s disease is currently diagnosed when a subject is demented. There is an urgent need to diagnose AD earlier as this will give the opportunity to start treatment earlier which may prevent functional loss.

The DESCRIPA study aims to develop screening guidelines and clinical criteria for Alzheimer’s disease in non-demented subjects. The clinical criteria will be based on a prospective cohort study of non-demented subjects from a memory clinic. The screening guidelines will be based on a meta-analysis of prospective population-based cohort studies in Europe.

In the study participate 25 centres from 11 European countries. The project started 1 January 2003 and ended 1 July 2007. It is planned to continue the prospective cohort study of non-demented subjects from the memory clinic until 1 July 2010.

For a more detailed description see ‘Project outline’. A summary in non-technical terms is given at ‘Project summary’.




The Project
The project has been funded by the European Commission as part of the 5th framework programme in the theme ‘Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for Health’, thematic area ‘Quality of life and management of living resources’, key action 6: The aging population, and priority 6.1: Age related illnesses and health problems.

DESCRIPA is the acronym for Development of screening guidelines and criteria for predementia Alzheimer’s disease