August 18, 2009

Biomarkers may help predict Alzheimer’s

Cerebrospinal fluid proteins may help identify Alzheimer's patients earlier, Swedish researchers say.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests the presence of these proteins may act as biomarkers signaling changes in the brain and may help identify which patients with early symptoms of dementia will subsequently develop full-blown Alzheimer's disease.

These methods make it easier to identify the disease, which is essential for making a correct diagnosis early on, research team member Dr. Niklas Mattsson of the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the University of Gothenburg's Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden says in a statement.

These biomarkers may be useful both in research to develop new medicines and in point-of-care diagnostics, where they can support clinical diagnostics.

In the study, Mattsson and colleagues tested more than 1,500 participants at hospitals in Sweden, Europe and the United States.