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Studies point to possible blood testing for Alzheimer's

Category: Organ Specific Testing

Researchers at the Emory School of Medicine, in conjunction with scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University at St. Louis, recently performed a clinical study that they say identifies a number of proteins that act as key markers for Alzheimer's disese. The researchers believe the results of the study indicate that susceptibility to Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive decline may one day be identified with a blood test. The study's lead author, William Hu, M.D., noted that currently, traditional screening remains the best form of analysis.

"The combination of a clinical exam and cerebrospinal fluid analysis remains the best tool for diagnosis in someone with mild memory or cognitive troubles," Hu said.

Hu's team identified the protein beta-amyloid, among other proteins, as a problematic cranial substance linked to cognitive decline. In a separate study, researchers at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute identified BACE1, an enzyme in the brain that produces beta-amyloid, as a significant contributor to the development of Alzheimer's. In addition producing beta-amyloid, the BACE1 enzyme has been shown to play a key role in the regulatory processes that disrupt brain cells, as reported by the Sanford-Burnham researchers.

Both studies indicate that advances in biomedical testing may soon help us better understand, diagnose and treat Alzheimer's and other forms of cognitive decline and memory loss. Soon, a lab test may tell doctors all they need to know about cognitive function.ADNFCR-2248-ID-800844776-ADNFCR

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