Public announcements of breakthroughs in diagnosing alzheimer’s disease regularly appear in newspapers, radio and television programmes, and on the web. The types of diagnostic tests recommended range from mri and pet scans of the brain, to spinal taps, blood tests, simple eye cell tests, and even smelling peanut butter. Most of these tests measure so-called ‘biomarkers’: certain molecules in the body that are linked with the pathology thought to underlie alzheimer’s disease. The usual claim is that these tests are more reliable, less burdensome, faster and/or cheaper than existing diagnostic procedures. But most importantly, the novel tests are thought to reveal alzheimer’s at an early stage, possibly even years before the onset of symptoms.keywordsinnovation processhealth technology assessmentdiagnostic technologybiomedical domainresponsible researchthese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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