Wednesday February 26, 2020

New blood test can detect early signs of Alzheimer’s

The blood test would thus offer an opportunity to identify those at risk and may thereby open the door to new avenues in drug discovery

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Alzheimer
Alzheimer Disease. IANS

Raising hopes for an effective intervention in diagnosing the risk of early onset of disease, German scientists have developed a new blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s long before the first symptoms appear in patients.

Alzheimer’s disease is thought to begin long before patients show typical symptoms like memory loss.The team, led by Klaus Gerwert, professor at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, noted that one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of amyloid-beta plaques in the patient’s brain.

Diabetes drug can help people with alzheimer's disease and other kind of dementia
Alzheimer’s can now be detected using a blood test.Pixabay

The findings, published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, showed that the blood test uses a technology called immuno-infrared sensor to measure distribution of pathological and healthy structures of amyloid-beta in the blood.

The pathological amyloid-beta structure is rich in a sticky, sheet-like folding pattern that makes it prone to aggregation, while the healthy structure is not.

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The two structures absorb infrared light at a different frequency, allowing the blood test to determine the ratio of healthy to pathological amyloid-beta in the sample.

The pathological form is a misfolded version of this molecule and known to initiate the formation of toxic amyloid-beta molecules that starts accumulating in the brain 15 to 20 years before disease onset.

They found that the test reliably detected amyloid-beta alterations in the blood of participants with mild cognitive impairment that also showed abnormal amyloid deposits in brain scans. In order to detect blood changes well ahead of disease onset, the researchers compared blood samples of 65 participants that were later in the follow-up studies diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease with 809 controls.

This can be very beneficial for potential Alzheimer’s patients. Flickr

The assay was able to detect signs of the disease on average eight years before diagnosis in individuals without clinical symptoms with an overall diagnostic accuracy of 86 per cent. The blood test would thus offer an opportunity to identify those at risk and may thereby open the door to new avenues in drug discovery, the researchers said. IANS

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Know About This Simple Blood Test That Can Identify Heart Diseases

Simple blood test can help reduce heart disease deaths

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Blood test
Researchers have revealed how a simple blood test could be used to help identify cardiovascular ageing and the risk of heart disease. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Researchers have revealed how a simple blood test could be used to help identify cardiovascular ageing and the risk of heart disease. This is the latest news.

The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reported that higher levels of amyloid-beta in the blood may be a key indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Amyloid-beta is known to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, yet researchers have now concluded that it may have a key role to play in vascular stiffening, thickening of the arteries, heart failure and heart disease progression.

It is hoped that this research will one day lead to the development of a simple blood test that could be used as a clinical biomarker to identify patients who are most at risk, so that preventative measures can be put in place and death rates reduced.

Blood test
Higher levels of amyloid-beta in the blood may be a key indicator of cardiovascular disease. Pixabay

“Our work has created and put all the pieces of the puzzle together. For the first time, we have provided evidence of the involvement of amyloid-beta in early and later stages of cardiovascular disease,” said study researcher Konstantinos Stellos from Newcastle University in the UK.

For the findings, the research team analysed blood samples from more than 6,600 patients from multiple cohort studies in nine countries, and found that patients could be divided into high and low risk categories of heart disease based on their amyloid-beta levels.

“What is really exciting is that we were able to reproduce these unexpected, clinically meaningful findings in patients from around the world. In all cases, we observed that amyloid-beta is a biomarker of cardiovascular ageing and of cardiovascular disease prognosis,” Stellos added.

The study proposed the existence of a common link between both conditions, which has not been acknowledged before, and could lead to better patient care. The findings suggest that the higher the level of amyloid-beta in the blood the higher the risk of developing serious heart complications.

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In the future, it is hoped that a simple blood test could be added to the current method of patient screening, known as the GRACE score, which assesses heart attack risk and guides patients’ treatment plans. Using the GRACE score, eight factors are used to predict the risk of heart attack, including age, blood pressure, kidney function and elevated biomarkers. (IANS)