New Research Identifies Blood Biomarker for Predicting Dementia Before Symptoms Develop

My remark: If this is a relatively simple blood test, it could be great [even if we all should be treated as potential “future dementia”: diet, herbs etc.]

Researchers have identified a blood biomarker that could help identify people with the earliest signs of dementia, even before the onset of symptoms.

The findings were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Emer McGrath, MD, College of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland, and colleagues measured blood levels of P-tau181, a marker of neurodegeneration, in 52 cognitively healthy adults who were part of the US-based Framingham Heart Study, who later went on to have specialised brain positron emission tomography (PET) scans. The blood samples were taken from people who had no cognitive symptoms and who had normal cognitive testing at the time of blood testing.

The analysis found that elevated levels of P-tau181 in the blood were associated with greater accumulation of ß-amyloid on specialised brain scans. These scans were completed on average 7 years after the blood test.

Further analysis showed the biomarker P-tau181 outperformed t2other biomarkers in predicting signs of ß-amyloid on brain scans.

“The results of this study are very promising,” said Dr. McGrath. “P-tau181 has the potential to help us identify individuals at high risk of dementia at a very early stage of the disease, before they develop memory difficulties or changes in behaviour.”

The research team said the identification of a biomarker also points to the potential for a population screening programme.

“This study was carried out among people living in the community, reflecting those attending GP practices,” said Dr. McGrath. “A blood test measuring P-tau181 levels could potentially be used as a population-level screening tool for predicting risk of dementia in individuals at mid to late-life, or even earlier. This research also has important potential implications in the context of clinical trials. Blood levels of P-tau181 could be used to identify suitable participants for further research, including in clinical trials of new therapies for dementia. We could use this biomarker to identify those at a high risk of developing dementia but still at a very early stage in the disease, when there is still an opportunity to prevent the disease from progressing.”


SOURCE: National University of Ireland Galwa