Millions of people are suffering from Alzheimer’s and due to the aggressive nature of this disease, early diagnosis is very crucial. Currently, it can only be detected once the typical plaques have already formed in the brain of the patients. This delays in finding out the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and increases the chance of irreversible damage, but now Researchers have developed a new two-tier method that can detect Alzheimer’s disease at an early stage which can benefit millions of people worldwide.
This research was published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia. In this Research the diagnosis and assessments were published along with the result of disease monitoring of patients.
The lead Researcher Klaus Gerwert said that “This Research has paved the way for early-stage therapy approaches”.
The current advancement in the field of Alzheimer’s is not quite up to the mark. In Alzheimer’s patients, the amyloid beta protein folds inaccurately due to pathological changes long before the first symptoms occur.
Klaus Gerwert and his team of researchers successfully diagnosed this protein misfolding using a simple blood test and due to this, the disease can be detected approximately eight years before the first Alzheimers symptoms occur.
The findings of this research are significant but not monumental due to the fact that the findings of this test weren’t suitable for clinical applications. This test also provided false positive diagnoses for nine percent of the study participants, but this test did detect 71 percent of Alzheimer’s cases in symptomless stages which if predicted correctly can save millions of people from losing their memory in the later stage of their lives.
The researchers knew they have to increase the number of correctly identified Alzheimer’s cases and they have to reduce the number of false positive diagnoses. Alzheimer is not lethal at the beginning stage and the patients can very well live a normal life if the diagnosis starts at an early stage of their disease.
After years of hard work and dedication, the Researchers have now introduced the two-tier diagnostic method. Researchers have used the original blood test to identify high-risk Alzheimer Patients. Afterward, they added a dementia-specific biomarker, namely tau protein. This protein is used to run further tests with those test participants whose Alzheimer’s diagnosis was positive in the first step. The two-step process helped the researchers to accurately predict the Alzheimer patients, If both biomarkers are showing a positive result, there is a high likelihood that the patient is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Gerwert explains that they have combined both the analyses and in 87 out of 100 Alzheimer’s patients were correctly identified in their study. Gerwert also said that they have reduced the number of false positive diagnoses in healthy subjects to 3 out of 100. The second analysis is carried out in the cerebrospinal fluid that is extracted from the spinal cord.
Gerwert and his team are confident that new clinical studies with test participants in very early stages of the Alzheimer disease can be launched.
Dr.Andreas Nabers explains that “Once the typical plaques- amyloid plaques have formed, it appears that the disease can no longer be treated. If our attempts to arrest the progression of Alzheimer’s fail, it will put a lot of strain on the patients around the world.”
Andreas Nabers, co-developer of the Alzheimer’s sensor explains that the blood test has been upgraded to a fully automated process. “The sensor which we used in this study is easy to use, strong when it comes to fluctuation in concentration of biomarkers, and it is consistent to provide better results”.