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Test can show Alzheimer risk


A simple test to indicate risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease could become a possibility in the future.

Researchers at Lund University have previously found Alzheimer related biomarkers in the spinal fluid among people with mild memory difficulties. They have shown that a low level of beta-amyloid increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In the group that had the lowest level of beta-amyloid, more than 90 percent developed the disease within the following ten years.

To have a certain amount of beta-amyloid in the blood is normal. But if there is an unusual low level of the substance in the blood, the beta-amyloid has been accumulated in the brain, according to the researchers.
The researchers’ results have been published in JAMA Neurology. The study is based on 156 patients that have sought medical care due to memory difficulties. The researchers have taken samples of the patients spinal fluids and used a PET camera to get images of the patients’ brains. The results of the different methods corresponded with each other and showed that patients with beta-amyloid accumulations in the cortex had low levels of the subject in the spinal fluid.

Oscar Hansson, senior lecturer at Lund University, and his research group showed that the spinal fluid test could screen these patients in a carefully run research context and also as part of the everyday clinical care. It could thus be possible for physicians to give their patients the right diagnosis at an early stage.