Skip to comments.Progress Cited in Developing Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Posted on 10/14/2007 1:24:25 PM PDT by neverdem
Scientists reported progress today toward one of medicines long-sought goals: the development of a blood test that can accurately diagnose Alzheimers disease, and even do so years before truly debilitating memory loss.
A team of scientists, based mainly at Stanford University, developed a test that was about 90 percent accurate in distinguishing the blood of people with Alzheimers from the blood of those without the disease. The test was about 80 percent accurate in predicting which patients with mild memory loss would go on to develop Alzheimers disease two to six years later.
Outside experts called the results, published online today by Nature Medicine promising but very preliminary. They cautioned that the work must be validated by others and in much larger studies, because there have been many disappointments in the past.
Looking for biomarkers for Alzheimers disease is a very hot area, said Dr. William Jagust, professor of public health and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. Things tend to get a lot of attention and they are not always borne out.
Right now, Alzheimers disease is diagnosed by a battery of mental and other tests, and even that diagnosis rests on the judgment of the physician. Doctors say it would be very useful to have something like a pregnancy test for Alzheimers one that is simple and definitive and can pick up the disease very early, maybe even before symptoms appear.
At present, treatments for Alzheimers disease are not very effective, so some people might not want early notification that they have an incurable ailment. But other people might want it.
There are people who want to know what their future holds so they can plan their estates and lives, said Dr. Sam Gandy, a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine who is chairman of...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
A molecular test for Alzheimer's disease could lead to better treatment and therapies. We found 18 signaling proteins in blood plasma that can be used to classify blinded samples from Alzheimer's and control subjects with close to 90% accuracy and to identify patients who had mild cognitive impairment that progressed to Alzheimer's disease 26 years later. Biological analysis of the 18 proteins points to systemic dysregulation of hematopoiesis, immune responses, apoptosis and neuronal support in presymptomatic Alzheimer's disease.
Just an FYI...my Mom died this week. She was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s, although I believe it requires an autopsy to know for certain.
Anyways, after several years of worsening memory loss and psychotic episodes, we pulled her off her breast cancer medication. At 85, we figured it wouldn’t matter that much if it came back. During the last few months, we saw significant improvement in her memory, reasoning ability and a decrease in freaking out. She seemed a lot happier during the weeks just before her death.
Just something to think about for anyone struggling with a parent & Alzheimers...take a close look at any meds she/he is taking. Talk about each one with a doctor, to include side effects and any negative interactions.
Mom had some type of demetia.
Truly crazy. Absolutely bizarre.
Otherwise she was healthy. - Until she had a massive heart attack right in front of my wife and kids and died.
I couldn’t save her.
She was sitting on a swing with my wife in the back yard of the house that she had lived in most of her life, almost 50 years, watching her grandchildren play out back. - And she did not even know where she was.
You have my sincere condolences.
Last that I heard is that a definitive diagnosis is made only with an autopsy, except in rare instances when more bad reasons provide the opportunity for a biopsy while the patient is alive.
She quickly slipped in dementia -
Unfortunately, nothing will be researched or done about this - it has been reported for decades. There's simply too much money being made with prescription drugs.
It is going to be up to us, individually, to do the research on each and every drug prescribed to us or loved ones and decide....I have refused to take several drugs prescribed for me in the past 10 years. 5 of those have now been taken off the market for causing deaths...
I only take one of my heart meds - and supplement that with CO Q10 per research.
We are fortunate today with the research we can do on the Internet (stick with reputable studies) and the many books (best on "The PILL BOOK" - cheapest and published yearly to keep up with new drugs. It gives the side effects...so we can make informed decisions
I am sorry for your loss. I pray God’s comfort for you as you go through this grieving period.
I want to say that it is evident that you did wonderful things for your mother. You kept her in familiar surroundings and although she had lost her recognition of it, deep down I’m sure it meant a peaceful safe place to her. You did well. Take comfort in that.
The Romans never did figure out the dangers of storing wine in lead containers. We are taking way too long to figure out the connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's.
It is a fact that all Alzheimer's victims have aluminum deposits in their brains. Yet, no one will say straight out that those deposits are the cause. I suspect that is because of strong lobbying by the aluminum industry.
You think asbestos law suits were a catastrophe? Just wait for this to hit the fan.
Are aluminum hats OK?
I don’t trust aluminum baking powder or aluminum-based anti-perspirants either.
If the hat fits...I’ll wear it too.
>a definitive diagnosis is made only with an autopsy,
Yep. It would have been quite a few thousands of dollars to have it done, and it isn’t covered by any insurance.
You're welcome to enter Alzheimers (disease or dementia) and aluminum into PubMed, but I don't think you'll find any paper that says it's the definitive cause. It's still just a hypothesis. And aluminum is all over the place. Try aluminum and environment also.
She is doing better now, partly by better controlling her diabetes, and they put her on 2 drugs, trazadone and another antipsychotic. I hate to see her drugged but there have been few insane outbursts since she started them.
I know her time left is limited, and there's not much I can do except try to make her happy and ensure she has lots of human contact to stay stimulated.
Not all the psych drugs are bad. At least with the drugs, I can call Mom and have a civil if rambling conversation with her. Before the drugs, she would just curse and hang up.
Sure. Just don't eat them.
You have my sympathy as you go thru a very tough time of life. It can be hard when your Mom is not your Mom anymore. Mine was on several drugs to prevent recurrence of breast cancer, plus some anti-psychotics. Once we stopped the cancer medicine, which could cause psychotic episodes, we were able to stop the anti-psychotics - but that is just our experience. It certainly isn’t a rule, and anti-psychotics can be wonderful. After several rough years, she was finally calming down and behaving a bit more rationally at the end.
I also had an Uncle who died from emphysema years ago. he was vicious to my aunt...my Mom said he was cruelest to the ones he loved the most, but that I needed to remember that wasn’t John, but the disease destroying him. It helped to remember that when my Mom started going thru the same things.
Best wishes for you and your Mom as you face these challenges. The last 6-7 years have been an eye-opening experience for me.
so very sorry about your loss, bill1952
That's right. They always hold up short. I've read several studies, including one from Harvard, that will acknowledge the correlation between aluminum and Alzheimer's, but they won't say that it causes it.
My Grandmother, rest her soul, had Alzheimer's before they new what it was. Every morning, probably for 30 years she perked coffee in an aluminum pot.
Because of its unique atomic valance, it is not found in elemental form in nature. It is so tightly bound to oxygen that it requires extreme pH conditions followed by intense electrolysis to arrive at it's metallic state. Because of that, it remains very unstable in anything other that neutral pH conditions. This process was not economically feasible until the 40's when aluminum began to be used widely in everything including the food industry. Coffee and, even more so, tomatoes will dissolve aluminum. If you then consume those products, you are taking it into your body in its elemental form.
I will not eat at an Italian restaurant that cooks in un-anodized aluminum cookware.
The correlation between aluminum and Alzheimer's has been know for at least 20 years. I first heard of it when reading an account of the high incidence of Alzheimer's in the native population on Guam where the ground water is high in aluminum due to the volcanically derived soil. Yet, over the years the only one I ever heard mention this perspective was my geochemistry professor.
Well, if I'm wrong, at least I'm in good company.
Please see my post #16.
(I meant to ping you to it but forgot. Must be those aluminum flavored potato chips I like.)
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Unfortunately, the researchers forgot where they left their research data.
Okay, yeah, that was a pretty naughty.
Actually they now believe alzheimers is a type of diabetes. They have noticed high aluminum levels in patients but I dont think they have made a connection. I am not a doctor but I play one on TV... well not even that.