THE BOUNDARY between normal aging and very early Alzheimer disease (AD) is becoming a central focus of research. Much of the work on preventive strategies in AD is oriented toward the development of drugs, such as secretase inhibitors, or immunization techniques to prevent the onset of the disease. This work is predicated on the notion that the distinction between the cognitive changes of aging and very early AD is well delineated. It has become the responsibility of clinical investigators to characterize the transitional state between normal aging and the earliest stages of cognitive impairment.
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