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 Neutrons produce first direct 3D maps of water during cell membrane fusion
21.09.2018 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

nachricht Narcolepsy, scientists unmask the culprit of an enigmatic disease
20.09.2018 | Universitätsspital Bern

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: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Three NASA missions return first-light data

24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Brown researchers teach computers to see optical illusions

24.09.2018 | Information Technology

Astrophysicists measure precise rotation pattern of sun-like stars for the first time

21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>