Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Detecting Alzheimer's early

Detecting Alzheimer's disease early is important as it allows people to be treated in the early stages of the disease when the chances for improvement are greatest. Some tests ask people questions aimed at assessing their mental state while others look for biological symptoms of the condition. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania looked at the levels of proteins in the spinal fluid of 410 people who were part of a large Alzheimer's study. They looked at the levels of two proteins: tau and the amyloid beta 42 polypeptide. They found that people with high levels of tau were more likely to develop Alzheimer's as the substance is released when nerve cells die. People with low levels of amyloid beta 42 were more likely to develop Alzheimer's as the protein accumulates and forms plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. The test was 87% accurate at predicting which people with early memory problems and other symptoms of cognitive impairment would develop Alzheimer's

You can find out more about this research at


No comments: