Scientists have developed a new test that seems to have a 90% accuracy rate of predicting Alzheimer’s disease. All they need from you is a little cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid, which runs through your spine and up into your brain, seems to hold the key to determining if you will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
There are three substances in the fluid, which seem to be related to the risk of Alzheimer’s: total tau, phosphorylated-tau, and b-amyloid. In a recent study, when researchers assessed the different levels of these spinal- fluid products, they were able to predict, fairly accurately, who would later be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
As most people are aware, prevention and proactive treatment are the best ways to deal with and remedy any illness. By detecting the disease before it actually affects the brain, doctors may be able to prevent the damage from occurring in the first place. While there is no current prophylactic treatment for Alzheimer’s, this is something that researchers have been striving for.
In fact, this study has merit because it helps to show that earlier treatments may be possible, as there are ways to predict the disease before it even happens. The only concern is that spinal-fluid samples are not an appealing option to the average American.
The study using these cerebrospinal fluid taps was based in Sweden, where free medical care is available to the entire population. In the states, people are less likely to pay for such a procedure, especially since it involves large needles. However, if a patient’s biomarkers could be examined in a different way, then they may still prove useful in the fight against Alzheimer’s.
For now, researchers have to keep working on potential therapies for Alzheimer’s while finding even easier ways to identify the biomarkers of risk for the disease. Hopefully, future research will hold a cure to this debilitating disease.