August 16, 2011

Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease

(Ivanhoe Newswire)--Alzheimer's disease may be detected through a blood test. It all goes back to 1999 when a former student working at Johnson & Johnson sent Bob Nagele, longtime University of Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine doctor and researcher, a brain sample. Nagele applied a stain to the brain matter and saw that the tissue darkened, showing proteins that should not have been there. Since that single slide, Nagele has separated thousands of antibodies that appear in the blood of patients with Alzheimer's.

With just a drop of blood on a slide, computer technology scans to produce a glowing green image of almost 25,000 proteins present in that sample. If the computer screens out nearly all the molecules and does not detect obscure antibodies, the image goes dark and the person is healthy. However, if the image stays green or intensifies, this is an indication of Alzheimer's disease. The test isolates 10 auto antibodies produced by the body in order to combat the disease. It is 95 percent accurate and takes 24 hours to collect the results.

Thomas Cavalieri, the dean of UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine was quoted saying, "This is a significant discovery- it could be ground breaking. This is a major breakthrough, to think Alzheimer's could be diagnosed with a simple blood test."

Over the last ten years, Nagele has been documenting his own theory of the disease focusing on the "blood-brain barrier" separating proteins and antibodies in the blood in the brain of healthy patients. When a patient has Alzheimer's, the natural barrier decomposes and the brain is flooded with blood plasma. The results are inflammation and irreparable damage.

Within the last year, there has been an onrush of research on Alzheimer's disease with researchers making piecemeal discoveries just about every week. Doctors and scientists say that this blood test could mean great possibilities for treatment of this disease in the future. Heather Snyder, the senior associate director of medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer's Association commented that although Nagele's blood test and disease theory is interesting, further verification using larger patient groups need to be done. She was quoted saying, "It opens a door we need to investigate more."

SOURCE: New Jersey Real Time News; August 15, 2011