Spinal Fluid May Help Predict Alzheimer's
Researchers are closer to identifying biomarkers that may help identify people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s when they are older, and that increases the opportunity for early treatment.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis analyzed data gathered over 10 years from 169 people, ranging in age from 45 to 75. All were cognitively healthy when they enrolled in the study. The participants were divided into three age groups: early-middle age, mid-middle age, and late-middle age.
There are known biomarkers that indicate the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and the researchers were interested in the following:
Participants underwent at least two clinical evaluations which included brain scans, an analysis of cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and tests of cognitive functioning over the 10 years. Researchers found that people who had certain midlife biomarker patterns appeared to have a higher risk of future cognitive deficits. These were more pronounced with a known variant of the gene APOE that is linked to Alzheimer’s.
This study is the first to use a large data set to show the change of biomarkers over time in middle-aged people, which may prove vital to targeting people for therapeutic trials to study congnitive decline.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease.