A new blood test will help identify Alzheimer's

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 20.05.2018

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21 June 2016, 13:00

In Switzerland, a team of specialists developed a method that allows early detection of the development of diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer's. Experts noted that the new method will allow patients to avoid spinal puncture, which is used for analysis to date.

The connection between old age and the weakening of memory, the mind was noticed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, the symptoms of Parkinson's disease are found in the descriptions of the XII century BC. (presumably this disease was observed in one of the Egyptian pharaohs).

And now Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease is quite often and costly to the economy of developed countries, so scientists are trying to find new effective ways to diagnose and treat these disorders.

Now doctors determine the stage of the disease by measuring certain proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid and blood. The invention of Swiss scientists will not only be more convenient, but also can help in the development of new methods of treatment.

With neurodegenerative diseases, there is a disruption in the work and death of nerve cells, Swiss scientists have tried to measure the level of the neurofelament protein (which is a part of nerve cells) in the blood, which is released into the blood during the development of neurodegenerative disorders. As a result, the assumptions of the scientific group were confirmed - the development of the disease can be observed according to the level of the neurofilament in the blood. Thanks to a new testing technique, scientists were able to obtain data on violations of cognitive functions. The study involved more than 200 volunteers and the test showed the result with 100% accuracy, even in the early stages of the disease. The head of the scientific group Jens Kule noted that the new method is equally effective in the case of animals, and in the case of humans. Also, according to Professor Kule, today it is possible to use the results of clinical studies on animals and compare them later, which allows the development of new types of treatment. 

For example, in Germany, a team of scientists found that in the brain of rodents with neurodegenerative disorders accumulates alpha-synuclein, tau protein, beta-amyloid. The relationship between the level of the neurofilament in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid was determined experimentally, in addition, the level of this protein rises as the disease and brain damage develop. With the artificial increase or blockage of pathological processes in the animal body, an increase or decrease in the level of the neurofilament in the blood was noted. Such results prompted scientists to think that in the future to determine the stage of the disease it will be possible to do without puncture of cerebrospinal fluid, which is quite unpleasant for elderly patients and is not suitable for frequent use.

In comments to the study, Professor Koole noted that the new diagnostic method will help in conducting clinical trials, for example, to test medicines against neurodegenerative disorders.


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