In a new study researcher from UK have found a technique to test out for Alzheimer’s years prior to its symptoms appear. They believe that a lumber puncture test in combination with a brain scan can identify patients with early symptoms of dementia.
Finally, experts could use it to pick patients to test drugs which can slow the progression of the disease. At present, there is no single test or treatment for dementia that affects millions of people worldwide every year. The researchers are trying hard to find treatments which prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
The research team led by Dr. Jonathan Schott from the Institute of Neurology, University College of London, thinks that they can now notice the most common form of dementia at its initial stage, many years before signs appear. Their approach tests for two things one is shrinkage of the brain and lower than normal levels of a protein.
The protein is known as amyloid in the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) which baths spinal cord and the brain. In Alzheimer’s there is loss of brain volume and an unusual build up of amyloid in the brain. Seeking for such alterations might proffer a technique of verifying the condition long prior to presently possible.
To verify it, team conscripted more than hundred healthy participants to go through a sequence of tests. The participants had lumbar puncture tests to verify their CSF for levels of amyloid and MRI brain scans to evaluate shrinkage of the brain. The results showed that the brain of normal people with low CSF levels of amyloid, shrank double as the other group, reported Annals of Neurology.
They were also five times more prone to own the APOE4 threat gene and had higher levels of another offender of Alzheimer’s protein, tau. Though it is too early to know whether any participants will go on to develop Alzheimer’s, the researchers think their worries will inveterate in the future.
Critically, it would permit doctors to test which drugs might be advantageous in delaying or preventing dementia.