Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Alzheimer's predicted before onset

  • 1 Comment

Scientists have revealed that they will be able to predict Alzheimer’s in healthy adults several years before its onset, after conducting fresh research.

Research led by Dr Geert De Meyer from Ghent University in Belgium has suggested the disease can be identified by analysing protein “biomarkers” found in cerebrospinal fluid.

The biomarker signature was identified in 90% of patients with Alzheimer’s, 72% of those with mild mental impairment and 36% of cognitively normal people.

The scientists - who studied data from 114 older adults who were healthy, 200 who had mild cognitive impairment and 102 with confirmed Alzheimer’s disease - found that the amount of the proteins varied in people with different levels of mental impairment.

They wrote in the journal Archives of Neurology: “The initiation of the Alzheimer’s disease pathogenic process is typically unobserved and has been thought to precede the first symptoms by 10 years or more. Therefore, demonstrating that Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers … are true indicators of the pathogenic process at an early stage is a major challenge.”

The findings were cross-checked against post-mortem studies of dead patients who had Alzheimer’s, and following up patients with mild cognitive impairment for five years.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Is there a danger that testing for Altzheimers will become compulsory, with implications for insurance, loans, paying for care, etc?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.