Currently, changes in the brain that show signs of Alzheimer's dementia can only be reliably assessed by exploring PET (positron emission) and measuring certain proteins in the spinal cord. In the future, a blood test could be enough, as the researchers informed the International Conference of the Alzheimer's Association (AAIC) 2019 in Los Angeles.
"There is a great need for simple, reliable, inexpensive, non-invasive and easily available tools for Alzheimer's diagnosis," says Maria C. Carillo, of the Alheimer Association. Currently, they are developing new test technologies in the industry and in scientific research. Already from 2018, Japanese researchers described the potential biomarker beta amyloid beta, which could be used to identify the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in the future. Amyloid and abnormal tau proteins are the basic elements of the characteristic brain lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
At the conference, Akinori Nakamura, from the National Center of Geriatrics and Gerontology in Obu, Japan, reported the new findings of a study that analyzed this amyloid biomarker compared to PET explorations, magnetic resonance imaging and behavior. The researchers found that plasma biomarker can detect early amyloid deposits even before symptoms of dementia appear.
Exposure to risk patients
"Our results suggest that biomarker may be useful for those at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, which can help with clinical trials of Alzheimer's disease and accelerate studies that examine the implications of Alzheimer's disease. 39; this Non-pharmaceutical intervention, as well as risk management and a specific lifestyle for the progression of Alzheimer's disease, "said Nakamura.
Two other reports describe new blood tests for alpha-synuclein evaluation, which contribute to brain changes in Parkinson's and Lewy's body dementia, and mild neurofilaments that have proven to be reliable indicators of general damage to brain cells.
Filippo Baldacci of the University of Pisa investigated with colleagues, either from alpha-sin concentrations and from its combination with amyloid and tau in red blood cells. The patients with Alzheimer's of healthy people can be distinguished correctly. "Our results showed that patients had significantly lower levels of alpha-synuclein and combinations with amyloid and tau compared to healthy individuals," says Baldacci.
The researchers said red blood cells may be viable and models relevant to neurodegeneration, as they are likely to participate in the accumulation and elimination of incorrectly folded proteins.