Alzheimer is a disease with devastating effects. The number of people suffering from it is only expected to rise over the next several years.
Researchers have thrown themselves into discovering potential treatments, and a new study may help diagnose Alzheimer’s sooner than later. This will open up new avenues for potential treatments.
The research done at the University of Alberta in Canada was presented at a 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, and although, the research is still in the beginning stages, it represents new hope for diagnostic tools and treatment of this degenerative illness.
Results of a pilot study suggest that biomarkers in saliva may help identify people at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, and the results demonstrate that there are significant differences in the concentrations of a large number of salivary metabolites in patients with the AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) relative to unaffected controls.
They found that salivary molecules may act as reliable diagnostic biomarkers, which could help diagnose the disease in its earliest stages before brain damage occurs and dementia begins.
Metabolomics, a newer technique to study molecules involved in metabolism, was used in the study, said Stewart Graham, Ph.D.
Their goal was to find unique patterns of molecules in the saliva of study participants that could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in the earliest stages when treatment is considered most effective.
Metabolomics is used in medicine and biology for the study of living organisms, and it measures large numbers of naturally occurring small molecules, called metabolites which is present in the blood, saliva, and tissues, of animals. The pattern or print of metabolites in the biological sample can be used to learn about the health of the organism.
Unlike blood or cerebrospinal fluid, saliva is one of the most noninvasive means of getting cellular samples and it’s also not expensive.
The above-mentioned study participants included 29 adults in three groups, and after specimens were collected, the researchers positively identified and accurately quantified 57 metabolites.
Some of the observed variances in the biomarkers were significant, and from their data, they were able to make predictions as to those at most risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s advocates have suggested and advised that the U.S. needs to step up their game in terms of Alzheimer’s research, because, the cost to family caregivers and the Federal government is already significant, and only expected to rise.
Among other research presented at the conference was research on potentially effective new drugs for treating Alzheimer’s symptoms, and other means of early detection using biomarkers, with one researcher pointing out that finding inflammation in specific areas of the brain can indicate a risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Categories: Men's Health