New blood test can detect Alzheimer’s disease, scientists say in breakthrough

New blood test can detect Alzheimer’s disease, scientists say in breakthrough

Scientists have developed a revolutionary blood test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s diseaseaccording to the new paper published on December 27 in Brain.

While current tests involve expensive scans or painful lumbar punctures, “the blood test is cheaper, safer and easier to administer, and may improve clinical confidence in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and selecting participants for clinical trials and disease follow-up,” Professor Thomas Karikari from the University of Pittsburghwho was involved in the study, said in a statement.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects memory, thinking and behavior. It is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Earlier detection of the disease could lead to earlier treatment, potentially reducing negative effects.

Read on to find out when the test might be available for you.


There are usually three markers of Alzheimer’s disease

The three main markers of Alzheimer’s disease are:

Amyloid plaques: These are abnormal accumulations of protein fragments that accumulate between nerve cells in the brain.

Neurofibrillary tangles: These are tangled strands of protein that accumulate inside nerve cells in the brain.

Neurodegeneration: It is the loss of nerve cells and connections in the brain, which leads to atrophy (shrinking) of brain tissue.

However, the mere presence of these markers is not enough to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, since they can also be found in other neurological conditions. A definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can only be made through a comprehensive evaluation that includes a thorough history, physical and neurological examination, and imaging and laboratory tests.

A new blood test may skip some of these steps. That would be good news for those who want to avoid a lumbar puncture, in which a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is taken from the lower back. And great news for those who can’t find or afford these more expensive tests.

“Many patients, even in the US, do not have access to MRI and PET scanners. Affordability is a big problem,” Professor Karikari said.


How does the new test work?

A new test can detect a new marker of Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration in a blood sample. “The biomarker, called ‘brain-derived tau,’ or BD-tau, outperforms current diagnostic blood tests used to clinically detect Alzheimer’s disease-related neurodegeneration. It is specific for Alzheimer’s disease and correlates well with biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease neurodegeneration in the cerebrospinal fluid ( cerebrospinal fluid). ),” says the University of Pittsburgh.

“The most important utility of blood biomarkers is to make people’s lives better and to improve clinical confidence and risk prediction in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” Karikari said.


When will the test be available to everyone?

The effectiveness of the test is still being studied. “Karikari and his team plan to conduct a large-scale clinical validation of blood BD-tau in a wide range of research groups, including those recruiting participants from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, from memory clinics, and from the community.

“In addition, these studies will include older adults without biological evidence of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as those at different stages of the disease. These projects are critical to ensure that biomarker results can be generalized to people from all backgrounds, and will pave the way for BD-tau commercially available for widespread clinical and prognostic use,” says the University of Pittsburgh.


These are symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

There are several warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease that may indicate a person is experiencing cognitive decline. These signs may include:

Memory loss: Difficulty recalling recently learned information or asking the same questions repeatedly.

Difficulty performing familiar tasks: Difficulty planning or completing everyday tasks, such as getting dressed or preparing meals.

Disorientation: You get lost in familiar places or forget the date or season.

Communication difficulties: Struggles to find the right words or find it difficult to follow or join a conversation.

Bad judgement: Making bad decisions or showing reckless behavior.

Withdrawal from social activities: Loss of interest in hobbies, social activities or personal care.

Changes in mood or behavior: Experiencing sudden mood swings or unusual behavior.


How to prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Although there is no surefire way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the disease. Here are some tips for preventing Alzheimer’s disease:

Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity has been shown to improve brain health and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise.

Eat healthy: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in processed and unhealthy fats may help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some research suggests that the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in plant foods and fish, may be particularly beneficial for brain health.

Stay mentally active: Engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, doing puzzles and learning new things, can help keep the brain sharp and may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Get a good sleep: Adequate sleep is important for overall health, including brain health. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

Manage stress: Chronic stress is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Consider finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, or talking to a therapist.

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