Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Urine test predicts Alzheimer’s disease

14.06.2002


A simple clinical test could make it easier to track and treat Alzheimer’s



A urine sample taken at the doctor’s office can be the step in determining your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. They have determined that a urine test can reliably detect free radical damage associated with people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – a recognized precursor to AD. The test detects isoprostanes, fatty acids that are formed as the result of free radical damage in the brain – damage that correlates with clinical diagnosis of AD.

"This is the first noninvasive test that can predict a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease," said Domenico Praticò, MD, assistant professor in Penn’s Department of Pharmacology. "Since there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, physicians could slow the course of the disease if it is caught early enough."


Within four years of initial diagnosis, up to 50% of people with MCI develop Alzheimer’s disease. As AD progresses, it attacks the brain and causes severe damage in the areas important for memory, judgement, and language. This destruction leads to other clinical complications and, eventually, death.

In the study, published in the June edition of Archives of Neurology, Praticò and his colleagues measured isoprostane in blood and urine samples obtained from 50 patients with a clinical diagnosis of AD, 33 patients with MCI, and 40 healthy volunteers. Two weeks later, a CSF sample and a second urine sample were taken from 28 of the AD patients, 17 of the MCI patients, and 18 of the control subjects. The researchers found significantly higher levels of isoprostane in CSF, blood, and urine of MCI and AD subjects than in the volunteers. Remarkably, the samples taken from the MCI subjects and the volunteers differed only in respect to their isoprostane levels.

"We found that patients with MCI have increased brain oxidative damage before the onset of AD – damage that can be detected in the form of isoprostanes in urine, as this study shows," said Praticò. "In fact, five MCI subjects, all with high isoprostane levels, converted to AD during follow-up."

Patients that are diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment typically present their physicians with persistent memory loss that is not normal for someone of their age and education. Although their memory is impaired, MCI patients are capable of living largely independent lives. At this stage, it is difficult to determine whether a person with MCI will eventually have Alzheimer’s or whether they will progress to a form of unrelated dementia.

A urine sample taken in the doctor’s office may be a first point of decision in gauging the risk of developing AD. Further tests could then determine the severity of a patient’s condition and course of treatment. For example, studies have shown that the transition from MCI to AD occurs fastest in people who have a gene called apoE4 and whose brain’s hippocampus region is shown to be smaller as measured in an MRI scan.

"One hypothesis is that, in AD, healthy brain tissue is damaged by the local formation of large amounts of free radicals," said Praticò. "Isoprostanes are the byproducts of fats in the human body that were warped by free radical attack. They then accumulate in CSF, blood, and urine as the body works to get rid of them."

While at the moment this test is not yet clinically available, the team is working on the development of a version of it that could be broadly and easily performed.

Unlike a spinal tap, a urine test is simple to do and provides a painless and noninvasive way of assessing the situation. "The advantages are clear: with an easier test, doctors can diagnose the disease sooner and respond better to the patient’s needs," said Praticò.


This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. Trial participants were selected at the Memory Disorders Clinic of Penn’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center.


Greg Lester | EurekAlert

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

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...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

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...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

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...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

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...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>