EMR technology allows easier recording of more symptoms and information of any types of ailments, thus leading to better understanding. Electronic Medical Records are doing their part to help combat these sometimes mysterious diseases and sicknesses.
EMR’s Combating Illness
Although commonly associated with the elderly, early-onset version Alzheimer’s disease affects people as young as 40-50 years of age. Even more alarming, researchers now say that changes in the brain in those with early-onset can occur as young as 18 years old. Noting patients with known family histories of the degenerative disease in neurology EMR makes monitoring progression and symptoms easier and teaches physicians valuable information about the mysterious nature of the condition.
Deterministic “familial Alzheimer’s” genes account for less than only 5 percent of Alzheimer’s disease cases. However, changes in brain’s shape and size occur long before patients start exhibiting symptoms of memory loss. A study by the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Arizona addressed patients who tested positive for the deterministic genes that predispose them to Alzheimer’s. This group of at-risk patients, according to the research team, exhibited higher levels of the beta-amyloid protein than those who did not have the familial gene. Beta-amyloid is known for depositing plaque in the brain that’s responsible for the degenerative disease. Brain scans were performed on the group of 20, showing that early-onset brain changes start as early as 18 years of age.
The object of the study was not about diagnosis, but rather the progression and intervention of the disease. Tracking patients known to have the deterministic genes with an EMR allows them to be easily notified in the event of new medications or clinical research studies. By targeting those genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s, doctors hope to be able to start early intervention treatments before it starts to impair their activities of daily living.