New Research Opens Door To Predicting Alzheimer’s Disease 10 Years Earlier

 Authored by Naveen Athrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

A woman with Alzheimer's disease looks on during lunch in the refectory of a retirement home on Oct. 18, 2016 in Saint Quirin, eastern France. (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP via Getty Images)

A new study could open the path for easier and earlier screening for Alzheimer’s disease, with the possibility of detecting the incurable neurodegenerative disease up to a decade in advance.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is critical for effective treatment. However, there are no reliable methods for such detection at present. The study, done by researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet and published April 12 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia—the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association—involves analyzing a type of glycan structure in the blood called bisected N-acetylglucosamine. This glycan structure is linked to the level of tau, a protein playing a key role in the development of severe dementia.

Glycans are sugar molecules found on the surface of proteins and are one of the major building blocks of life.

Identifying bisected N-acetylglucosamine can give doctors a pathway toward spotting individuals with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. In fact, the study could open a way for a simple screening procedure capable of predicting the onset of Alzheimer’s 10 years in advance.

At the onset of Alzheimer’s, neurons in the brain die. Ensuring that treatment begins early when not many neurons have died is crucial to reversing Alzheimer’s.

In the study, researchers measured the blood glycan levels of participants. They found that individuals with matching levels of glycans and tau were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s-type dementia.

“We demonstrate in our study that blood levels of glycans are altered early during the development of the disease,” said Robin Zhou, first author of the study as well as a medical student and affiliated researcher at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society (NVS) at Karolinska Institutet, according to an April 12 press release.

This could mean that we’ll be able to predict the risk of Alzheimer’s disease with only a blood test and a memory test.”

Read more here...

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