Antibody Test May Spot Alzheimer’s Early
A new antibody test may one day make it possible to detect the presence of Alzheimer’s disease before any symptoms appear.
That’s the conclusion of new research at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in New Jersey.
The work is based on the premise that thousands of autoantibodies are present in human blood. These specifically bind to blood-borne cellular debris generated by organs and tissues all over the body.And these antibodies, say the researchers, can act as blood-based biomarkers that can help in detecting numerous diseases and even identify the stage to which a disease has progressed.
Each person has an autoantibody profile based on age, gender and the presence of specific diseases or injuries. Since diseases can cause changes in a person’s autoantibody profile, that can suggest the presence of a particular disease.
In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain begins to change years before symptoms emerge. Detecting antibodies at an early stage would give patients an opportunity to work with physicians to make lifestyle changes or receive available treatments before symptoms appear, which could help to avoid or delay more severe symptoms.
Currently, there is no definitive FDA-approved blood test for Alzheimer’s, which affects an estimated 5.3 million Americans.
The researchers said the antibody test could also help detect other diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and breast cancer.