Monday, September 22, 2008

Simple Blood Test Could Spot Alzheimer's Risk

HealthDay News) -- A simple blood test to identify people at risk for Alzheimer's disease may be close at hand, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
They found that blood plasma levels of a peptide called Amyloid Beta (AB42) appear to increase before the onset of Alzheimer's and decrease shortly after a person develops the disease, which may be because AB42 becomes trapped in the brain.

"To date, AB42 levels have measured most reliably in the cerebrospinal fluid, which is more difficult to collect than blood. Blood draws can be done with relative ease and greater frequency than spinal taps, which is typically the way cerebrospinal fluid is collected," study lead author Nicole Schupf, associate professor of clinical epidemiology, said in a Columbia news release.

The study was published online Sept. 8 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The finding is similar to that seen in heart attack patients, the whole article

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