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Alzheimer’s Breakthroughs

Alzheimer's disease breathrough

In a ground-breaking development, a team of international researchers has identified five distinct biological variants of Alzheimer’s disease, shedding light on potential variations in its impact on the brain and response to treatment.

The study, which analysed cerebrospinal fluid proteins in 606 individuals, suggests that previously tested medications may have shown limited effectiveness due to the diverse nature of these subtypes. Neuroscientist Betty Tijms and her team from Alzheimer Centre Amsterdam propose that the identification of these subtypes could pave the way for more personalized therapies and preventive measures.

Alzheimer’s disease, a widespread neurodegenerative disorder, is characterised by the accumulation of amyloid and tau proteins, leading to progressive memory loss. The research, utilizing advanced mass spectrometry proteomics, identified five distinct biological subtypes marked by variations in hyper plasticity, immune activation, RNA dysregulation, choroid plexus dysfunction, and blood-brain barrier impairment.

Each subtype exhibited specific alterations in clusters of proteins related to inflammation, nerve cell growth, and other biological processes. The researchers observed distinct genetic risk profiles, clinical outcomes, survival times, and anatomical brain atrophy patterns for each subtype.

The findings challenge the traditional view of Alzheimer’s as a single disease with variable symptoms. This discovery opens avenues for early diagnosis, targeted interventions, and the development of subtype-specific treatments. However, further research is essential to validate these findings and explore potential differential responses to medications.

This breakthrough represents a significant step in the ongoing battle against Alzheimer’s, offering hope for more effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure.

New blood test detects disease 15 years before it appears

A groundbreaking study suggests that a new blood test could accurately detect Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms manifest. The test targets phosphorylated tau (p-tau) protein, a key biomarker for Alzheimer’s, demonstrating up to 96% accuracy in identifying elevated levels of beta amyloid and up to 97% accuracy in identifying tau. Unlike traditional methods such as brain scans or spinal taps, this blood test offers a more accessible and cost-effective means of early diagnosis.

Conducted by a team of researchers analyzing 786 participants, the study utilized the ALZpath pTau217 assay, showcasing its potential as a definitive screening tool. The test revealed distinct characteristics of Alzheimer’s pathology, making it as accurate as advanced methods like cerebrospinal fluid tests and brain scans. The results indicate a significant reduction in the need for costly and high-demand examinations, with 80% of participants receiving definitive decisions through the blood test and clinical examination.

The test’s specificity for Alzheimer’s disease provides a valuable tool for diagnosing cognitive impairment, even before symptoms emerge. The study envisions this blood test becoming a routine screening tool for individuals over 50, similar to cholesterol tests, allowing for early intervention and personalized management of Alzheimer’s risk factors. While more research is needed, this breakthrough holds promise for a more proactive approach to Alzheimer’s prevention and neurology.


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