A new study suggests that an individual’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease could be predicted through a saliva test. The findings were presented by a team of researchers at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC).
The study’s lead author, Shraddha Sapkota, and her colleagues used liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry ( LCMS) to study saliva samples from 22 participants with Alzheimer’s disease, 25 participants who had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and 35 participants who had normal cognitive functioning.
Researchers discovered that higher levels of specific compounds in the saliva of participants with Alzheimer’s and MCI were associated with lower mental functioning and decreased information-processing speed.
The team concludes that these findings hold promise for a cheaper, noninvasive diagnostic technique for Alzheimer’s.
At the AAIC, Saputo commented, “Saliva is easily obtained, safe and affordable, and has promising potential for predicting and tracking cognitive decline, but we’re in the very early stages of this work and much more research is needed. Equally important is the possibility of using saliva to find targets for treatment to address the metabolic component of Alzheimer’s, which is still not well understood. This study brings us closer to solving that mystery.”
Currently, Alzheimer’s affects about 5.3 million people in the U.S. and is the sixth leading cause of death in the country.
Source for Today’s Article:
Whiteman, H., “Could a simple saliva test detect Alzheimer’s?” Medical News Today web site, July 20, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297001.php.