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article imageSaliva test predicts Alzheimer’s disease

By Tim Sandle     Nov 26, 2016 in Science
A straightforward test to detect Alzheimer’s disease based on the analysis of a sample of saliva has been developed. The test can also provide clues about the development of the disease where the result is positive.
As populations age, age-related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease will probably become more common. The number of people with the disease probably stands, globally, at 35 million. The growing numbers are placing an increased strain on health and social services.
The new test has been developed by a research firm called Aurin Biotech. The test measures the quantity of amyloid beta protein 42 (Abeta42) secreted in saliva. The Abeta42 protein accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer disease. The accepted theory is that the protein causes neuroinflammation which kills brain neurons, leading to the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.
The test has been trailed on out on a number of people both with and without Alzheimer’s disease. The quantity of saliva needed for the test is small, around one teaspoon full. While the application of the test is simple, to achieve the device years of research and testing was required.
A newly reported study, from the Canadian development company, indicates that in unaffected people Abeta42 production occurs in every organ of the body and this is controlled at same production rate throughout life. For those destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease the rate varies, and it is generally two to three times higher.
By being able to indicate if a person has Alzheimer’s disease and to indicate the extent of the disease progression, the new test offers a significant medical application and it can contribute towards treatment regimes.
In communication with Digital Journal, Dr Pat McGeer, who is the President and CEO of Aurin Biotech, expanded upon this: “If individuals know they are destined to develop Alzheimer disease, they can initiate preventive measures. These include taking over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, drinking coffee, and sticking to a Mediterranean diet.”
The research has been published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease. The paper is titled “A Method for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease Based on Salivary Amyloid-β Protein 42 Levels.”
More about Alzheimer's disease, Saliva, Neurodegenrative disease
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