Tracking early signs of Alzheimer’s years before the disease takes hold could lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and can help you make the necessary changes to your diet.
According to the CDC, around 5 million people in the US are currently living with Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia.
While there is no cure, an early diagnosis gives patients an opportunity to benefit from early treatment, the possibility of medical trials, and the chance to make lifestyle changes such as controlling blood pressure that may help preserve cognitive function.
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Scientists say using a scanner to identify markers in the brain could play a key part in the early identification of signs that could help patients have a better chance of benefiting from treatment that lessens the symptoms of memory loss and confusion.
Changes in brain function can begin 10 to 20 years before the clinically cognitive decline.
Researchers used brain tissue from six individuals who had died with Alzheimer’s disease and seven healthy controls, who had died of other causes.
They were able to identify reactive astrogliosis, a marker that shows the brain attempting to defend itself from the disease.
Astrocytes, cells in the central nervous system, have a broad spectrum of functions for the brain to function as healthily as possible.
Researchers suspect that this process of these cells attempting to fight the disease may precede even the earliest physical signs of Alzheimer’s.
The team developed a tracer, BU99008, for use in PET scans and this could be used to detect the response early before it causes disease.
Dr Amit Kumar, researcher at Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said:
Professor Agneta Nordberg, at the same university, said:
The study was published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.