Simple Saliva Test May Identify Alzheimer’s Risk

An individual’s chance of getting  Alzheimer’s disease could be found out  through an easy saliva test, suggests a  new research.

Lead author Shraddha Sapkota and colleagues recently reported their results at the 2015 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC).

Alzheimer’s disease impacts about 5.3 million individuals in the US and is the 6th major cause of death in the US. It is estimated that by 2050, about 13.5 million People in America will have the problem.

At the moment, there is no test to identify whether a person has Alzheimer’s or is at risk. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis needs thorough medical examination, such as physical and neurological diagnosis and mental status assessment.

While there is presently no way to stop development of Alzheimer’s or to cure it, early examination can improve an individual’s chances of benefitting from medicines that deal with symptoms of the disease.

What is more, early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can increase the chances of involvement in clinical studies focused at discovering a cure for the condition.

However, Sapkota and colleagues observe that a lot of diagnostic approaches for Alzheimer’s can be unpleasant and expensive, prompting the look for a easier, less expensive approach.

Saliva ‘is a promising body fluid’ for forecasting, and monitoring cognitive downfall

For their research, the study team applied liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LCMS) to evaluate the saliva samples of 22 individuals with Alzheimer’s, 25 individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) – a possibility factor for Alzheimer’s – and 35 individuals with normal cognitive functioning.

The scientists determined compounds that were more noticeable in the saliva of individuals with Alzheimer’s and MCI, differentiating them from healthy individuals. These results were verified in an additional sample such as seven individuals with Alzheimer’s, 10 with MCI and 10 cognitively normal individuals.

Additional analysis brought to light that greater levels of specific substances in individuals’ saliva were related with poorer cognitive functioning. For instance, a greater level of a certain substance in the saliva of individuals with Alzheimer’s was related to slower information processing rate.

The team considers their results hold promise for an affordable, simpler diagnostic method for Alzheimer’s, although they said a lot more work requires to be performed to identify just how effective such a examine could be.

Adding to above statement lead author Sapkota said,

“Saliva is simply obtained, safe and inexpensive, and has potential for forecasting and monitoring cognitive downfall, but we are in the quite early phases of this work and a lot more study is required.

Equally crucial is the chance of using saliva to obtain targets for therapy to address the metabolic aspect of Alzheimer’s, which is even now not well recognized. This research gives us closer to fixing that mystery.”

Protein in cerebrospinal fluid may forecast drop from MCI to Alzheimer’s

Another research reported at the AAIC exposed that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has shown promise for forecasting the decline from MCI to Alzheimer’s.

This research was carried out by Dr. Maartje Kester and colleagues, the research included 162 individuals with either MCI, Alzheimer’s or usual cognitive functioning. All individuals had two samples of CSF obtained during a 2-year period.

The team identified that individuals with Alzheimer’s had greater baseline levels of neurogranin – a protein expressed in the brain – in their CSF samples than individuals with MCI and usual cognitive functioning.

What is more, baseline neurogranin was higher among individuals whose MCI had developed to Alzheimer’s, showing that the protein may be a forecaster of cognitive downfall among people with MCI.

The scientists also identified that neurogranin levels enhanced over time among individuals with normal cognitive functioning, but this was not the case for all those with MCI or Alzheimer’s.

“This may suggest that neurogranin levels in CSF indicate very early synaptic loss in Alzheimer’s and may be helpful for early diagnosis,” notes Dr. Kester, adding:

“We identified that neurogranin is a most likely useful marker for the diagnosis, prognosis and tracking of Alzheimer’s.”