An analysis of the proteins, plus a clinical exam, proved 94 percent accurate in detecting suspected Alzheimer's and 84 percent accurate in ruling it out in people without the disease, the researchers said.
"This research uses a novel technology that makes it possible to analyze several biomarkers in a single blood sample in a cost-effective way," said Dr. Ramón Díaz-Arrastia, professor of neurology at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study which was published in the September issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Researchers have been seeking a simple blood test for Alzheimer's for years, Dr. Díaz-Arrastia said, but no single substance, or "biomarker," has been shown to be useful. Such a test, he said, would be comparable in principle to measuring blood cholesterol as a biomarker of cardiovascular disease.
Alzheimer's disease is an incurable degenerative brain disease, which currently afflicts about 5.3 million people over 65 in the U.S., according to the National Alzheimer's Association. By 2050 that number is expected to reach 11 million or more.
The disease is difficult to diagnose, particularly in its early stages when it resembles other cognitive problems. Currently, a definitive diagnosis is possible only after examining the brain tissue of deceased individuals. Tests for suspected Alzheimer's are often expensive or invasive, and not every patient is able or willing to undergo them, the researchers stated.
A blood test would provide a convenient diagnostic method that could be performed by health care workers nearly anywhere. In addition, a definitive diagnosis is important because treatments specifically targeting Alzheimer's might not be effective against other forms of neurodegenerative disease or cognitive decline, Dr. Díaz-Arrastia said.
Researchers associated with the Texas Alzheimer's Research Consortium, a five-university group funded by the state, carried out the research. In the current study, the scientists analyzed blood samples from 197 Texas patients who had suspected Alzheimer's and 203 people without the disease.
The researchers measured more than 100 blood proteins and created a mathematical analysis that could measure a person's risk of having Alzheimer's. The analysis, combined with information from a clinical exam, accurately detected Alzheimer's 94 percent of the time, and correctly ruled out Alzheimer's 84 percent of the time in people without the disease, Dr. Díaz-Arrastia said.
Neither the blood test nor a clinical exam alone was as accurate on its own as the blood test and clinical exam combined, the researchers found.
"Having a diagnosis is an important step, but it's not the end of the road unless you've got a treatment or a cure," Dr. Díaz-Arrastia said.
The next step in the work is to determine whether the biomarker test can detect accurately Alzheimer's in preserved blood serum from patients who have been diagnosed definitively by an autopsy.
Other UT Southwestern researchers participating in the study were Dr. Guanghua Xiao, assistant professor of clinical sciences; Dr. Joan Reisch, professor of clinical sciences and family and community medicine; and Dr. Perrie Adams, professor of psychiatry.
Also participating were researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Baylor College of Medicine, and Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation.
The study also was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/neuro to learn more about UT Southwestern's clinical services in the neurosciences, including memory disorders like Alzheimer's disease.
This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at http://www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html
To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via e-mail, subscribe at www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews
Aline McKenzie | EurekAlert!
Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences