New Alzheimer's Disease Indicator

Published Online: Thursday, May 1, 2003

Researchers from Switzerland may have uncovered a breakthrough in diagnosing Alzheimer?s disease. Using this test would allow physicians to start treating patients earlier to minimize the symptoms.

By analyzing a patient?s spinal fluid, Odile Carrette, PhD, a researcher at Geneva University Hospital, discovered that Alzheimer?s patients have certain proteins that mark the disease. She found 17 protein markers that are exhibited in higher levels in Alzheimer?s patients, compared with healthy patients. To test the findings, Dr. Carrette conducted a study with 20 participants. She correctly identified 9 of 10 patients with the disease and ruled out the 10 participants who did not have the disease. The more protein markers a patient had, the more likely it was that he or she would develop the disease.

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