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Diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease years ago by identifying certain blood markers is no longer science fiction. American researchers have discovered that certain markers, associated with the presence of amyloid plaques, make it possible to determine who will develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease develops years before patients show the first symptoms. Also, researchers now know that to treat dementia early, it would be necessary to be able to intervene before the permanent degradation of brain cells.

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What increases the risk of Alzheimer's

To detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier, many scientists are looking into the blood test, which would identify the people most at risk, up to 10 years before the appearance of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. disease. Such a test could help doctors distinguish people who will develop Alzheimer’s disease from those who simply have cognitive impairment due to aging.

This is the case of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh (United States), who tested blood samples from more than 1000 elderly people without cognitive impairment but with or without amyloid plaques.

The research team, which has just published its work in the journal Nature, found that only those who had a combination of amyloid load and certain blood markers of abnormal astrocyte activation or reactivity, would progress to symptoms symptomatic of the Alzheimer’s disease. Astrocytes are specialized cells that are abundant in brain tissue. They provide nutrients and oxygen to neuronal cells, while protecting them from pathogens.

The blood biomarker trail

This track of blood biomarkers is also being explored by researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Göttingen (Germany). They have identified 3 molecules present in the blood that may indicate the future onset of dementia. The discovery of these biomarkers (specific microRNAs whose presence in the blood is correlated with cognitive disorders) also opens up the prospect of blood tests making it possible to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease years in advance.

“At present, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s comes much too late to even have a chance of having an effective treatment. If the disease is detected early, the chances of positively influencing its evolution increase” emphasizes Pr André Fischer, who conducted this research. “We need tests that give an early warning. We are confident that the results of our current study pave the way for such tests.”

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Do you forget what day it is?
Loss of today’s date = aging – Loss of reference to the seasons = Alzheimer’s

© Getty Images

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Looking for certain words
Loss of certain words = aging – Difficulty maintaining a conversation = Alzheimer’s

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4/6 –

Sometimes you forget to pay a bill
Forgetting to pay bills = aging – Inability to manage a budget = Alzheimer’s

© Getty Images

5/6 –

You have memory lapses
You have trouble remembering the past = aging; The progressive loss of a present moment = Alzheimer’s

© Getty Images

6/6 –

You need daily help
Need a helping hand with daily activities = aging – Inability to do simple things like washing or doing housework = Alzheimer’s

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