A group of researchers has discovered that blood-based biomarkers could be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease.
Blood-based biomarkers are proteins that can be found in the blood and can be used to identify diseases in the body.
Using these biomarkers is significantly less invasive and expensive than traditional methods.
It can require expensive techniques like positron emission tomography (PET) and tau-PET, invasive procedures like lumbar punctures, or not very accurate measures like measuring brain atrophy by MRI.
Blood-based biomarkers have the benefit of being detectable by a simple blood test in a doctor’s office or laboratory and can be combined with other markers as part of routine health monitoring.
Currently, they are only used for research purposes.
Alzheimer’s disease is currently diagnosed using biomarkers that require expensive techniques, invasive procedures like lumbar punctures, or not very accurate measures like measuring brain atrophy by MRI.
Blood-based biomarkers have the potential to greatly simplify the diagnostic process for Alzheimer’s disease by reducing costs and reducing the number of tests required.
This could improve early detection and monitoring of the disease progression.
The researchers studied nearly 5,000 proteins in 2,667 participants with Alzheimer’s disease and found that blood-based biomarkers are highly correlated with the corresponding biomarkers used so far for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
The blood-based biomarkers showed high diagnostic accuracy in discriminating the normal or non-normal status of the amyloid and tau biomarkers.
The use of blood-based biomarkers in clinical settings cannot be expected until technical details are established, such as normality/anormality thresholds and the standards to be applied by the various laboratories.
But this could soon become a reality.
Involving attending physicians from the first stage of diagnosis and ensuring that the costs are covered by health insurance companies would be advantageous.
Overall, the use of blood-based biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis could considerably reduce the number of diagnostic examinations, generate significant savings, and improve outcomes.
This is a promising step forward in the early detection and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease.
How to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
While there is no definitive way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk:
Exercise regularly: Physical activity has been shown to be beneficial for brain health and may help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Eat a healthy diet: A diet that is low in saturated fats and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.
Stay mentally active: Engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, solving puzzles, and learning new skills, to keep your brain active and healthy.
Stay socially engaged: Social interaction has been linked to better cognitive function and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. Join clubs or social groups, and stay connected with family and friends.
Manage chronic conditions: Conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Manage these conditions through regular check-ups and appropriate treatment.
Get enough sleep: Good sleep habits, including getting enough sleep each night and avoiding disruptions to your sleep, may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Protect your head: Head injuries have been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, so take steps to protect your head during activities like sports and other physical activities.
It’s important to note that while these steps may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, they are not a guarantee of prevention.
It’s also important to discuss any concerns about your risk of developing Alzheimer’s with your healthcare provider.
If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the cause of sleepiness in Alzheimer’s disease, and scientists find a new way to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that extra-virgin olive oil could boost brain function, and results showing strawberries could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The study was conducted by Daniele Altomare et al and published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.
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