Blood Test To Detect Alzheimer’s 16 Years Before Symptoms Manifest
A Blood Marker has been identified by an international research team which they think could form the basis of a pocket-friendly simple test to monitor the development of brain damage and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, likely a decade or before the symptoms manifest.
The protein neurofilament light chain (NFL) forms a part of the internal skeleton of brain cells which is later found in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood resulting in neuronal damage or death.
Mathias Jucker, Ph.D. scholar and a senior researcher at the German Center said In Past two years whatever cognitive changes that actually occurred and loss of brain mass were predicted by us.
The differences in blood levels of the protein among individuals with a false version of the gene and relatives without the mutation were easily detectable 16 years before the affected participants were predicted to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by cortical thinning and telltale toxic deposits of amyloid-β and tau these pathological changes can be detected MRI, positron-emission tomography or by measuring amounts of amyloid-β and tau protein in the CSF, but the latter requires an invasive spinal tap. The author also explains that Changes to the brain can start many years before clinical symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders become apparent.
CSF collection is invasive and imaging modalities are costly; therefore, they’re not well suited to routine clinical practice,” the researchers stated.
The researchers turned to a cohort of families that participate in the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN), which is led by Washington University in order to investigate whether NFL levels in the blood could predict the progression of neurodegenerative disease. Some of the relatives carry rare genetic variations that cause Alzheimer’s disease to grow during the carrier’s 50s, 40s or even 30s.
405 people were observed by the researches who were engaged in the DIAN research including individuals who carried genetic variations out of which 162 were of the unaffected relatives.
Researchers adding to their study said when we used serial NFL dimensions it was found that the NFL yearly rate of change can distinguish non-carriers and mutation carriers as early as 16 years before the estimated symptom onset.