Tuesday March 31, 2020

Simple Blood Test Can Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease

Simple blood test to detect Alzheimer's comes closer

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Alzheimer's
A simple blood test could soon tell if a person with memory problems actually has Alzheimer's disease. Pixabay

A simple blood test could soon tell if a person with memory problems actually has Alzheimer’s disease, says a health and lifestyle study which reported an advance in the development of the test.

The researchers believe that such a blood test could replace invasive and expensive current brain imaging and spinal fluid tests to detect Alzheimer’s disease.

“Finding a blood test that specifically identifies the presence of Alzheimer’s pathology in the brain should greatly help researchers develop better treatments for the many who suffer from dementia,” said Roderick Corriveau, Programme Director at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

Alzheimer's
Finding a blood test that specifically identifies the presence of Alzheimer’s pathology in the brain should greatly help researchers develop better treatments for the many who suffer from dementia. Pixabay

The blood test detects the abnormal accumulation of a form of tau protein known as phosphorylated-tau-181 (ptau181), which is a biomarker that suggests brain changes from Alzheimer’s, according to the study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Over the past 15 years, research advances in the development of biomarkers like tau protein have enabled investigators to more accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, select research participants, and measure response to investigational therapies.

Tau and other biomarkers can be detected with Positron-emission tomography (PET) scans of the brain and lab tests of spinal fluid.

However, PET imaging is expensive and involves radioactive agents, and spinal fluid tests require spinal taps, which are invasive, complex and time-consuming.

Simpler biomarker tests are still needed.

An international team of researchers led by Adam Boxer at the University of California, San Francisco, used the new test to measure the concentration of ptau181 in plasma, which is the liquid part of blood that carries the blood cells.

Alzheimer's
The researchers believe that such a blood test could replace invasive and expensive current brain imaging and spinal fluid tests to detect Alzheimer’s disease. Pixabay

The samples were collected from more than 400 participants from the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Centre.

Their analysis demonstrated that the ptau181 in plasma could differentiate healthy participants from those with Alzheimer’s pathology, and differentiate those with Alzheimer’s pathology from a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases known collectively as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).

A different international team, this one led by Oskar Hansson at Lund University in Sweden reported similar findings.

Using the same plasma ptau181 test, these researchers were able to differentiate between Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases nearly as well as they could with a spinal fluid ptau181 test and a PET brain scan for tau protein.

Also Read- Experimental Drug for Parkinson’s Shows Progress

In addition, they followed participants for several years and observed that high levels of plasma ptau181 among those who were cognitively normal or had mild cognitive impairment may be used to predict later development of Alzheimer’s dementia.

These results were also published in the journal Nature Medicine. (IANS)

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Most Infants Consume Added Sugar: Study

Is your toddler consuming added sugar?

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infants sugar
A large majority of infants between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume added sugars. Pixabay

Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets; primarily in the form of flavoured yogurts and fruit drinks, a study has found.

A large majority of toddlers between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume these sugars – possibly laying early foundations to unhealthy eating habits, found a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier.

“Our study, which is the first to look at trends in added sugars consumption by infants and toddlers, documents that most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” explained lead investigator Kirsten A. Herrick.

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She cited an earlier study that found that 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an SSB at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

infants sugar
Most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns. Pixabay

Dr. Herrick noted, “Previous research into the diets of children over two years old associated sugar consumption with the development of cavities, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.”

The findings showed that toddlers consumed about 1 teaspoon of added sugars daily (equivalent to about 2 percent of their daily caloric intake), while toddlers consumed about 6 tsp of sugars (about 8 percent of their daily caloric intake).

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet and baked products, and sugar and candy.

According to Dr. Herrick, parents should be mindful of added sugars levels in the foods chosen when weaning their infants.

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” The transition from a milk-based diet (breast milk and formula) to table foods has an impact on nutrition, taste preference, and eating patterns. More work is needed to understand this critical period.” She recommends discussing which solid foods to introduce during weaning with a child’s healthcare provider.Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets; primarily in the form of flavoured yogurts and fruit drinks, a study has found.

A large majority of infants between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume these sugars – possibly laying early foundations to unhealthy eating habits, found a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier.

“Our study, which is the first to look at trends in added sugars consumption by infants and toddlers, documents that most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” explained lead investigator Kirsten A. Herrick.

She cited an earlier study that found that 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an SSB at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

Dr. Herrick noted, “Previous research into the diets of children over two years old associated sugar consumption with the development of cavities, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.”

infants sugar
Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets. Pixabay

The findings showed that infants consumed about 1 teaspoon of added sugars daily (equivalent to about 2 percent of their daily caloric intake), while toddlers consumed about 6 tsp of sugars (about 8 percent of their daily caloric intake).

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet and baked products, and sugar and candy.

According to Dr. Herrick, parents should be mindful of added sugars levels in the foods chosen when weaning their infants.

Also Read- Night-Shift Workers More Prone To Get Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes

” The transition from a milk-based diet (breast milk and formula) to table foods has an impact on nutrition, taste preference, and eating patterns. More work is needed to understand this critical period.” She recommends discussing which solid foods to introduce during weaning with a child’s healthcare provider. (IANS)