Blood Test Predicts Alzheimer's Disease Progression
John's Hopkins University Medical School reported in The Journal Of Alzheimer's Disease that by measuring the ratios of two fatty compounds in the blood of those with Alzheimer's Disease, doctors may be able to predict how rapidly the afflicted will lose cognitive function. The authors explain the benefits of predicting cognitive decline for loved ones and caregivers by giving them vital data so that knowing what to expect, they can better prepare, understand and accommodate for the disease progression. The findings could also be useful for treatment targets, researchers reported.
According to Medical News Today writer Christian Nordqvist, the study shows that of 100 newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients, approximately 33 will experience no immediate cognitive malfunction within the first five years of diagnosis. Another third will experience moderate cognitive decline, while 33 out of 100 will undergo rapid cognitive impairment. Whether or not these findings will help doctors be able to decide upon more aggressive treatment remains to be seen because there are no current treatments that effectively prevent, stop or slow down Alzheimer's Disease.
The ratio measurements are the beginning in a long line of studies that need to be accomplished before these findings may be accepted as reliable. However, they are telling and certainly provide a step in the right direction for further research, because regarding Alzheimer's Disease, doctors are rolling dice in the darkness of cognitive deterioration.
Christian Nordqvist reports for Medical News Today, that Michelle Mielke and her team analyzed data culled from 120 patients with probable Alzheimer's at Baylor College of Medicine's Alzheimer's Disease Memory Disorder Center. After measuring blood fat levels and and reviewing cognitive assessments over a 2.3 year period, visiting each patient an average of 4.2 times, they discovered that the slower progression of dementia in the disease was linked to lower levels of ceramide and higher levels of sphingomeylins, two kinds of fat cells in the human body. In the report, authors explained that because ceramides play a role in cell death and inflammation, the fewer the ceramides in the blood, the lower the brain cell death, the slower the progression. (Chriatian Nordqvist, Medical News Today)Continued on the next page