In a new study from Rutgers, researchers found testing for some inflammatory proteins associated with the nervous and immune systems will help diagnose the earlier onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
They analyzed 15 cerebrospinal fluid proteins related to cells in the nervous and immune systems in 382 participants.
The researchers found that a group of proteins represented by TNFR1 was linked to a slower decline in the very early stage of Alzheimer’s, while another protein called TREM2 was only useful once dementia set in.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death among Americans age 65 or older.
Although scientists have been able to diagnose the disease for many years, they have been unable to identify when people with the earliest cognitive symptoms will show the progression of the disease.
Researchers say this is the first study that provides insight into how Alzheimer’s disease progresses that can be readily deployed in the clinic.
For many families, knowing whether they have a slow or fast form of the disease for a loved one will better assist in customizing treatment plans.
The team hopes this study will provide many families with the ease and ability to make certain plans for their loved ones and to bring some equity when undergoing tests during the initial diagnosis of the disease.
They say testing for Alzheimer’s and these inflammatory proteins from a single spinal fluid procedure will eliminate unnecessary testing routines, including repeated PET scans, that many Alzheimer’s patients go through.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia, with more than 5.8 million Americans living with the disease.
The CDC estimates this number will double every five years for people beyond age 65.
If you care about Alzheimer’s disease, please read studies about this midlife mental problem is risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and findings of big breakthrough in diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about Alzheimer’s and your health, please see recent studies about new drug for Alzheimer’s disease prevention found safe and effective and results showing that changes in the eye may show early warning for Alzheimer’s disease.
The study is published in Nature Communications. One author of the study is William Hu.
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