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The Alzheimer ConundrumEntanglements of Dementia and Aging$
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Margaret Lock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149783

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149783.001.0001

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Embodied Risk Made Visible

Embodied Risk Made Visible

(p.100) Chapter 4 Embodied Risk Made Visible
The Alzheimer Conundrum

Margaret Lock

Princeton University Press

This chapter illustrates an account of the shift, commencing in the late 1980s, to the molecularization of Alzheimer disease (AD), and the attempt to identify significant bodily changes as much as 20 years before behavioral changes can be diagnosed in individuals. It considers the rationale for efforts to formulate a “prodromal” diagnosis before behavioral symptoms or memory loss are detected, followed by a presentation of the involved molecular diagnostic tools (biomarkers) with emphasis on spinal taps, neuroimaging, and genetic testing. The significance of the first two of these biomarkers is attributed to their apparent ability to detect the onset of the amyloid cascade process. The chapter also discusses the anomalies and uncertainties associated with biomarker testing.

Keywords:   Alzheimer disease, molecularization, behavioral changes, prodromal, memory loss, biomarkers, amyloid cascade process, neuroimaging

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