A New Sign of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's have protein in spinal fluid

(RxWiki News) People with Alzheimer’s disease have higher concentrations of a particular protein in their spinal fluid than people without the disease, recent research suggests.

Scientists at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden identified these proteins, which carry specific sugar molecules, in human spinal fluid. The presence of these molecules in greater concentrations could serve as a marker for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, researchers suggested.

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The researchers are also interested in investigating further the part these molecules play in the disease’s development, said Göran Larson, professor at Sahlgrenska Academy and one of the article’s authors. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Next, the researchers want to create new techniques for measuring the presence of these molecules, hoping to develop a method that doctors can use to diagnose Alzheimer’s.

Linking these molecules to the disease’s progress could lead to the development of new medications, researchers said.

The cause of Alzheimer’s disease is currently not known, but includes both genetic and environmental factors. Doctors currently diagnose Alzheimer’s by observing certain symptoms, such as memory loss, thinking and behavioral changes, and ruling out other causes of dementia.

Review Date: 
July 1, 2011