FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104
Date: July 20, 2010
West Islip, NY – More than five million Americans suffer from the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease. Currently, doctors diagnose the degenerative brain disease by tracking the progression of dementia, or memory loss, as revealed by patients’ behavior and the results of cognitive tests.
Medical experts are proposing the revamping of the diagnostic tools and categories to detect Alzheimer's at its earliest stages, when there are few, if any, symptoms.
Researchers are developing criteria that would diagnose Alzheimer’s in three stages: a new category called preclinical, before any symptoms appear; the second stage of mild cognitive impairment; and, lastly, the most advanced form of the disease, Alzheimer’s dementia. Such testing would rely on advances in detecting biomarkers for the disease, such as substances found in spinal fluid or appearing on sophisticated brain imaging scans such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is equipped with for some of the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art and multimodality imaging capabilities in Suffolk County.
“Early diagnosis gives the family the opportunity to understand the disease, plan care and use available resources,” stated Good Samaritan Hospital’s Medical Director of Geriatrics Shashi Jhamb, MD.
Diagnosing someone early in the disease or even before symptoms are apparent could make a huge difference in the success of treatments. For more information on Alzheimer diagnoses and treatment please call Good Samaritan Hospital at 631-376-4444.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip. The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had more than 30,000 patient admissions and more than 100,000 emergency room visits in 2009. Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at www.good-samaritan-hospital.org.
Good Samaritan provides approximately $49 million in community service and charity care each year. The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health. This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.