Skip to main content

Cerebrospinal Fluid Shows Alzheimer's Disease Deterioration Earlier

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-06-18 (Revised/Updated 2016-06-13) - It is possible to determine which patients run a high risk of developing Alzheimers disease and the dementia associated with it - University of Gothenburg.

Main Document

Quote: "The patients who had the typical changes in biomarker profile of the cerebrospinal fluid had a risk of deterioration that was 27 times higher than the control group."

"The earlier we can catch Alzheimer's disease, the more we can do for the patient. The disease is one that progresses slowly, and the pharmaceuticals that are currently available are only able to alleviate the symptoms", says Kaj Blennow, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, and a world leading researcher in the field.

It is possible to determine which patients run a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and the dementia associated with it, even in patients with minimal memory impairment. This has been shown by recent research at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

The results have been published in the most recent issue of the prestigious medical journal Lancet Neurology.

"The earlier we can catch Alzheimer's disease, the more we can do for the patient. The disease is one that progresses slowly, and the pharmaceuticals that are currently available are only able to alleviate the symptoms", says Kaj Blennow, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy, and a world leading researcher in the field.

Several biomarkers have been identified in recent years. Biomarkers are proteins that can be detected in the cerebrospinal fluid and used to diagnose Alzheimer's disease. It is now clear that the typical pattern of biomarkers known as the "CSF AD profile" can be seen in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients even with very mild memory deficiencies, before these can be detected by other tests.

"The patients who had the typical changes in biomarker profile of the cerebrospinal fluid had a risk of deterioration that was 27 times higher than the control group. We could also see that all patients with mild cognitive impairment who deteriorated and developed Alzheimer's disease had these changes in the biomarker profile of their cerebrospinal fluid", says Kaj Blennow.

The scientists were also able to show a relationship between the profile of biomarkers and other typical signs of the disease, such as the presence of the gene APOE e4 and atrophy of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain cortex that controls memory.

"Our discovery that an analysis of biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid can reveal Alzheimer's disease at a very early stage will have major significance if the new type of pharmaceutical that can directly slow the progression of the disease proves to have a clinical effect. It is important in this case to start treatment before the changes in the brain have become too severe", says Kaj Blennow.

The research is part of a European research project known as DESCRIPA. Samples from 168 patients from seven countries are included in the study.

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most widespread diseases in Sweden, with more than 100,000 people being affected. The disease is caused by harmful changes to the nerve cells in the brain, and it principally affects memory. The disease often leads to early death. Alzheimer's disease not only causes untold suffering for patients and their families, it also gives rise to enormous costs for society.

Reference:

The Lancet Neurology, Volume 8, Issue 7, Pages 619 - 627 Prevalence and prognostic value of CSF markers of Alzheimer's disease pathology in patients with subjective cognitive impairment and mild cognitive impairment in the DESCRIPA study: a prospective, case-control study.

Authors:

Piter Jelle Visser, Frans Verhey, Dirk L Knol, Philip Scheltens, Lars-Olof Wahlund, Yvonne Freund-Levi, Magda Tsolaki, Lennart Minthon, Asa K Wallin, Harald Hampel, Katharina Burger, Tuula Pirttila, Hilkka Soininen, Marcel Olde Rikkert, Marcel Verbeek, Luiza Spiru, Kaj Blennow.



Information from our Alzheimer's Disease: Facts & Research Information section - (Full List).

Submit event details, disability news, and assistive technology products for publishing on Disabled World


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be. Also see information on blood group types and compatibility.



  1. Britain's Unproductive Disabled: A Continuing Moral Panic?
  2. Social Networking Helps Keep People Healthy
  3. Majority in Favor of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Screening
  4. When the Spinal Cord Takes Charge of Information Related to Movement




Citation



Disclaimer: Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.