Combination of ‘feelings’ and measurements may help detect Alzheimer’s early

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Scientists from the University of Cologne found subjective memory disorders in conjunction with conspicuous levels of beta-amyloid proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid are a strong indication of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The study results could contribute to the early detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

The research is published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia and was conducted by Frank Jessen et al.

When people feel that their memory or other mental abilities are declining, but objective tests do not reveal any deterioration, this is referred to in medicine as “subjective cognitive impairment,” or SCD for short.

In the study, the team used data from 1,000 older women and men who had been recorded annually since several years. The mean age of the study participants was around 70 years,

The protein beta-amyloid, which accumulates in the brain in the course of Alzheimer’s disease, played an important role in the investigations.

Accumulation in the brain can be assessed indirectly—on the basis of the level of the protein in the cerebrospinal fluid: if the reading is beyond a threshold value, this is regarded as evidence that beta-amyloid is concentrating in the brain.

83 study participants with SCD and 25 volunteers from the control group had this status.

During the study period, some subjects from the SCD group and also some from the control group evolved measurable cognitive deficits. This was particularly evident in amyloid-positive people with SCD at the beginning.

In comparison, cognitive decline was much on average much lower in amyloid-positive individuals of the control group.

MRI data of the brain also showed differences: The “hippocampus,” a brain area divided over both brain hemispheres and considered the “control center” of memory, tended to be smaller in amyloid-positive people with SCD than in amyloid-positive individuals of the control group.

These findings suggest that the combination of SCD and amyloid-positive status as a strong indicator of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

The team says if you classify Alzheimer’s into six stages according to common practice, with stage 6 representing severe dementia, then the combination of SCD and amyloid-positive status corresponds to stage 2.

This occurs before the stage where measurable symptoms first appear and is also referred to as mild cognitive impairment.

If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the root cause of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s, and 5 steps to protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that herb rosemary could help fight COVID-19, Alzheimer’s disease, and results showing this stuff in mouth may help prevent Alzheimer’s.

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