Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Risk markers for Alzheimer’s disease

22.10.2010
Many proposed drugs for Alzheimer’s disease have been tested, but have not proved good enough. The reason could be because they have been tested on patients who have already developed dementia.

At this point it could be too late to start medication, because the disease is now believed to begin decades before a patient displays clear symptoms. So how can we identify the patients who do not yet have Alzheimer’s, but who are at high risk of developing the disease?

Associate Professor Oskar Hansson, linked to Lund University and Skåne University Hospital in Sweden, has identified two such risk markers. He has tested these on individuals who sought treatment at the hospital’s memory clinic and who displayed ‘mild cognitive impairment’ – poorer memory than normal for their age.

Of the 160 subjects tested, 33 per cent developed Alzheimer’s disease within five years. Sixteen per cent developed other forms of dementia, while the remaining half stayed at the level of ‘mild forgetfulness’. The risk markers made a quite clear distinction between those who would later suffer from Alzheimer’s and those who were not at risk.

“The ‘positive connection’ was 71 per cent, which is not sufficient to definitely predict who will get the disease. The ‘negative connection’, on the other hand, was 94 per cent, which means that it is possible to predict who in all likelihood will not get the disease”, says Oskar Hansson.

Those who do not have the risk markers are therefore not at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s, despite having a poor memory. They can be given this reassuring news and do not have to return for regular Alzheimer’s checks.

Individuals who do not have the risk markers can also be removed from all future clinical studies of new Alzheimer’s drugs.

“The studies are simpler and more correct if they are done on the right patient group from the beginning, i.e. those who really are in the risk zone for Alzheimer’s disease. It is also more ethical not to include patients who are not at risk. They have nothing to gain from the medication, but may have something to lose if the drug causes side-effects”, says Oskar Hansson.

The biomarkers are extracted from spinal fluid through a needle inserted into the lower spine. This is not the same as a bone marrow test, which is a much more extensive and unpleasant procedure.

Incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is increasing rapidly all over the world. In Sweden there are currently around 120 000 people with the disease, but the number is expected to increase in line with the ageing population. Because patients require a lot of care, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia are estimated to cost society as much as cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke combined.

Oskar Hansson’s study has been published in the Journal of Alzheimer's disease and can be found at http://iospress.metapress.com (enter researcher’s full name in search field).

Oskar Hansson can be contacted at oskar.hansson@med.lu.se or on +46 (0)46 176972 or +46 (0)704 417809.

Pressofficer: Ingela Bjröck; +46-46222 7646; ingela.björck@rektor.lu.se

Ingela Björck | idw
Further information:
http://iospress.metapress.com/home/main.mpx

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>