Between the loss of memory and the regression of the intellect, the daily life of a victim of Alzheimer’s is difficult. These disorders appear after the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain due to an abnormal accumulation of beta-amyloid protein. Unfortunately, these plates are fatal for neurons. A treatment based cholinesterase inhibitorsa brain chemical messenger, is already used to reduce symptoms. But, so far, no medication was only able to restore lost cognitive functions.
It is therefore crucial to be able diagnose disease as soon as possible before the damage are irreversible. Recently, German neuroscientists succeeded in detect biomarkers Alzheimer’s disease 15 to 20 years old before the first symptoms appear clinics. It is misfolded proteins present in the blood before the appearance of any outward signs.
The research team has developed an immuno-infrared sensor to detect amyloid-beta protein misfolding.
A defective protein present in the blood before the first signs
The experimental device was developed by Ruhr University Bochum in collaboration with the group German Cancer Research Center Heidelberg (DKFZ). It is able to detect the misfolding of beta-amyloid protein found in the blood of people who later develop the disease. As the progress of itthis bad folding leads to plaque deposits in the brain.
the Professor Klaus Gerwertfounding director of the Center for Protein Diagnostics (PRODI) at the Ruhr University in Bochum, explained that they wanted determine the risk to develop Alzheimer’s dementia in healthy people. These blood tests would then make it possible to implement therapy well before the appearance of the first senile plaques.
A very effective early diagnosis method for the elderly
The trials involved people without symptomsbut which present a high risk of developing disease later. The researchers analyzed blood plasmas collected and frozen between 2000 and 2002. The study participants were aged 50 to 75 at the time and had not yet been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The results obtained with the immuno-infrared sensor were published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia. They revealed that 68 people diagnosed in advance by the infrared sensor eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers hope use the bad bend test as a means of early detection for determine the risk of Alzheimer’s in the elderly.