Alzheimer's Fluid Test Could Predict Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer's Fluid markers from the spine may reveal early signs of Alzheimer's Disease in adults before typical symptoms appear, according to new research. The spinal tap test was found to be ninety percent accurate in identifying the disease in Alzheimer's patients. This is what everyone is looking for, the bulls eye of perfect predictive accuracy, said Dr. Steven DeKosky, dean of the University of Virginias medical school, who is not connected to the new research. The study, said Dr. John Morris, a professor of neurology at Washington University, establishes that there is a signature of Alzheimers and that it means something. It is very powerful. The study also produced positive readings in 72% of people with mild mental impairment, and 36% of apparently normal individuals showing no signs of dementia.The fluid test relies on three protein "biomarkers" linked to Alzheimer's in cerebrospinal fluid. Scientists found that people with different levels of mental impairment had different amounts of the proteins.The researchers analyzed data from 114 older adults whose brain functioning was normal, 200 who had mild levels of mental impairment, and 102 who had confirmed Alzheimer's disease.The findings were published in the journal Archives of Neurology.The authors, led by Dr Geert De Meyer, from Ghent University in Belgium, wrote: "The initiation of the Alzheimer's disease pathogenic process is typically unobserved and has been thought to precede the first symptoms by 10 years or more. Therefore, demonstrating that Alzheimer's disease biomarkers are true indicators of the pathogenic process at an early stage is a major challenge."The results were confirmed by post-mortem studies of dead patients who had suffered from Alzheimer's, and following up patients who developed the disease over five years.Finding the Alzheimer's signature in more than a third of "normal" individuals indicated the disease was detectable earlier than was previously thought possible, said the researchers.