Friday, January 07, 2011

New blood test for Alzheimer's could be new breakthrough

Researchers from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have developed a new blood test for Alzheimer's disease which could detect the condition much earlier than current methods. The test is based on the body's immune system which produces antibodies in response to proteins on viruses and bacteria and those produced in Alzheimer's disease. The team used 15,000 synthetic proteins as 'bait' to 'fish' for antibodies in blood samples taken from six patients with Alzheimer's disease, six with Parkinson's and six healthy individuals. The test proved successful in this small sample but lots more research is needed before it can be fully established.

1 comment:

len hudyma said...

We need a test that is so sensative that it can detect markers that in a seemingly healthy person that would be a warning that they have the potential to develope AD. A sensative test would give researchers the ability to find drugs that will slow or even stop the disease from developing. I think this company is the closest to having a scientifically proven test.

TORONTO, Ontario – January 7, 2011 – Amorfix Life Sciences, a product development company focused on diagnostics and therapeutics for misfolded protein diseases, today announced preliminary results indicating that their human Alzheimer’s disease (AD) diagnostic assay can detect a signal from aggregated beta amyloid in the spinal fluid (CSF) from AD patients. “These results represent a significant first step towards our goal of developing and
commercializing an assay that will accurately identify patients with AD, a disease that currently affects more than 5 million people in North America, a number that is expected to grow dramatically as the population ages” said Dr. Robert Gundel, Amorfix President and Chief Executive Officer. “While there is still work to do, this represents an important milestone towards the development of a valuable asset for our company. A new diagnostic tool could
enable the early detection and subsequent treatment of AD, while being a major adjunct to clinical research in the field.”
Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative illness characterized in part by memory loss, confusion, disorientation, and mood changes. Currently, the only definitive diagnostic for AD is post-mortem examination of brain tissue to detect neurofibrillary tangles and deposits of aggregated misfolded beta amyloid in plaques in and around neural tissue. “The benefit of the Amorfix assay is the ability to detect a signal in CSF, which reflects the presence of aggregated beta amyloid in the brain” said Dr. Louise Scrocchi, Associate Director of Research and Development. This is an important first step in the development of a test to screen and monitor patients undergoing experimental therapies to reduce amyloid load.”
“The availability of an important diagnostic tool such as our A4 assay will facilitate research efforts into disease mechanisms behind AD, as well as enable the development of better treatments” said Dr. Neil Cashman, Amorfix Chief Scientific Officer.