Blood test could detect Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage, study finds
- New test analyzing blood components could detect Alzheimer’s disease early
- King’s College London established the test to predict disease risk
- Study could detect changes three and a half years before typical diagnosis
A test could detect Alzheimer’s disease three and a half years before it is diagnosed, a study suggests.
Research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London has established a blood test that could predict the risk of the disease. The study supports the idea that blood components can influence brain cell formation.
Dr Edina Silajdzic, co-lead author of the study, said: «Our findings are extremely important and potentially allow us to predict the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.»
While Alzheimer’s disease affects the formation of new brain cells in the hippocampus during the early stages of the disease, previous research has only been able to study neurogenesis in its later stages through post-mortem examinations. .
Research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London has established a blood test that could predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
In order to understand the early changes, over several years, researchers took blood samples from 56 people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition in which a person will begin to experience worsening of their memory or cognitive abilities. .
Although not everyone with MCI develops Alzheimer’s disease, sufferers progress to diagnosis at a much higher rate than the general population.
Thirty-six of the 56 people in the study were later diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
When researchers used only blood samples taken furthest from when a person was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, they found changes in neurogenesis occur 3.5 years before a clinical diagnosis. .
Professor Sandrine Thuret, lead author of the King’s IoPPN study, said: ‘Previous studies have shown that blood from young mice may have a rejuvenating effect on cognition in older mice by enhancing neurogenesis in the hippocampus. .
“It gave us the idea to model the process of neurogenesis in a box using human brain cells and human blood.
“In our study, we sought to use this model to understand the process of neurogenesis and to use changes in this process to predict Alzheimer’s disease and found the first evidence in humans that the body’s circulatory system can have an effect on the brain’s ability to form. new cells.’
WHAT IS DEMENTIA?
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of neurological disorders
A GLOBAL CHALLENGE
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a range of progressive neurological disorders (those that affect the brain) that impact memory, thinking and behavior.
There are many types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.
Some people may have a combination of different types of dementia.
Regardless of the type diagnosed, each person will experience dementia in their own way.
Dementia is a global concern, but is most commonly seen in wealthier countries, where people are likely to live to very old ages.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?
The Alzheimer’s Society reports that there are over 900,000 people with dementia in the UK today. This figure is expected to reach 1.6 million by 2040.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting between 50 and 75% of those diagnosed.
In the United States, it is estimated that there are 5.5 million people with Alzheimer’s disease. A similar percentage increase is expected in the coming years.
As a person’s age increases, the risk of developing dementia also increases.
Diagnosis rates are improving, but it is believed that many people with dementia remain undiagnosed.
IS THERE A CURE?
Currently, there is no cure for dementia.
But new drugs can slow its progression, and the earlier it is spotted, the more effective treatments can be.
Source: Alzheimer Society