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Tool allows GPs to assess Alzheimer's risk in over 65s

A new tool may allow GPs to assess the risk of Alzheimer's disease in people aged over 65.

3,375 patients with no evidence of dementia at baseline were followed up by a team at the university of California at San Francisco for six years.

Researchers allocated a points on a dementia risk index for older age, poor cognitive test performance, BMI, alcohol consumption and several other physiological factors.

4% of subjects with scores of between zero and three developed dementia over 6 years compared with 23% of subjects who score between four and seven and 56% of subjects with a score higher than eight.

Lead researcher Dr Deborah Barnes, assistant professor in psychiatry said: ‘The tool could identify people who have no signs of dementia but should be monitored closely.'

The study is published in Neurology this week.

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