Changes in levels of a protein in the blood could help shed light on damage in the brain more than a decade before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease develop، researchers have revealed، the Guardian reports.
While there is no drug to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s، or cure it، the researchers said the study findings could be used by doctors to help anticipate when patients might start to show symptoms of the disease.
They also said it showed that measuring changes in levels of this protein in the blood was a useful way to test whether new Alzheimer’s drugs show promise – something researchers have already begun to embrace.
“We know Alzheimer’s disease starts [in the brain] one or two decades before you have any symptoms،” said Prof Mathias Jucker، a co-author of the study from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Tübingen. “We also know any therapy has to interfere 10 years [before symptoms] or even earlier to be successful if you want to target the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.” The blood test، he said، would allow researchers to test whether drugs were having an effect.