Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blood test predicts chance of dementia

09.03.2009
Frontal lobe dementia

Frontal lobe dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, FTD) strikes people at an earlier age. After Alzheimer's disease, FTD is the form of dementia that occurs most frequently in patients younger than 65. In FTD, the disease process starts in the frontal lobe where large numbers of brain cells begin to die off.

The frontal lobe is the foremost part of the brain and constitutes about 30% of the brain. Among other things, it is involved in regulating behavior, movement and mood, and it is responsible for cognitive functions such as language. So, the first clinical signs of FTD are changes in behavior and personality, and then, in a later stage of the disease, the loss of memory functions.

Progranulin: a main actor

Genetic research has shown previously that there is a genetic defect in chromosome 17 in a large percentage of the families with FTD. There are two genes in chromosome 17 that, if a defect occurs, cause a hereditable form of FTD. In 1998, defects were found in the gene for the tau protein, a substance that appears in the protein clots in the brains of FTD and Alzheimer's patients. In 2006, Christine Van Broeckhoven's team discovered hereditable defects in the gene for the progranulin protein. They predicted that people with these hereditable defects produce only half of the normal amount of progranulin.

This has been confirmed by Christine Van Broeckhoven's team, who have shown that a shortage of this growth factor leads to the dying off of brain cells in the frontal lobe and in this way causes FTD. New results indicate that progranulin also plays a role in the death of brain cells in other diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Predictive test

On the basis of their research, Kristel Sleegers, a scientist in Van Broeckhoven's team, has developed a test for measuring the quantity of progranulin in the blood in a simple way. This test enables one to determine whether someone has an increased risk of FTD due to a shortage of progranulin long before symptoms appear. The blood test can be used on a large scale and is much more simple and user-friendly than the current genetic tests. This finding also offers prospects for the early detection of FTD caused by a shortage of progranulin.

However, it is still too early for a medicine to combat FTD. Further scientific research is needed to determine how a shortage of progranulin can be restored to normal.

Sooike Stoops | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vib.be

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'
16.11.2018 | Purdue University

nachricht Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal
14.11.2018 | Michigan Technological University

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>