Alzheimer's, Dementia & Mental Health
Test of Biomarkers Proves Alzheimer’s Can Be
Predicted Years Before Symptoms Appear
Older people, men, African Americans more likely to
become cognitively impaired than those younger, female and Caucasian
May 14, 2013 – Testing of several biomarkers
previously shown to predict which patients will develop Alzheimer’s
disease later in life has found they all work years before symptoms
develop and with about the same degree of certainty. Scientists at
University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who helped
identify many of the biomarkers, studied spinal fluid samples and health
data from 201 research participants in the study.
“We wanted to see if one marker was better than
the other in predicting which of our participants would get cognitive
impairment and when they would get it,” said Catherine Roe, PhD,
research assistant professor of neurology. “We found no differences in
the accuracy of the biomarkers.”
The study, supported in part by the National
Institute on Aging, appears in Neurology.
Among the markers used by the researchers were -
● buildup of amyloid plaques in the brain,
newly visible thanks to an imaging agent developed in the last decade;
● levels of various proteins in the
cerebrospinal fluid, such as the amyloid fragments that are the
principal ingredient of brain plaques; and
● the ratios of one protein to another in the
cerebrospinal fluid, such as different forms of the brain cell
structural protein tau.
The markers were studied in volunteers from the
Charles F. and
Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, whose ages
ranged from 45 to 88. On average, the data available on study
participants spanned four years, with the longest recorded over 7.5
The researchers found that all of the markers were
equally good at identifying subjects who were likely to develop
cognitive problems and at predicting how soon they would become
Next, the scientists paired the biomarkers data
with demographic information, testing to see if sex, age, race,
education and other factors could improve their predictions.
“Sex, age and race all helped to predict who would
develop cognitive impairment,” Roe said. “Older participants, men and
African Americans were more likely to become cognitively impaired than
those who were younger, female and Caucasian.”
Roe described the findings as providing more
evidence that scientists can detect Alzheimer’s disease years before
memory loss and cognitive decline become apparent.
“We can better predict future cognitive impairment
when we combine biomarkers with patient characteristics,” she said.
“Knowing how accurate biomarkers are is important if we are going to
someday be able to treat Alzheimer’s before symptoms and slow or prevent
Clinical trials are already underway at Washington
University and elsewhere to determine if treatments prior to symptoms
can prevent or delay inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease. Reliable
biomarkers for Alzheimer’s should one day make it possible to test the
most successful treatments in the much more common sporadic forms of
Funding for this study was provided by the Longer
Life Foundation; the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and
Stroke (P30 NS057105); the National Institute on Aging (P50 AG005681,
P01 AG003991, and P01 AG026276); Fred Simmons and Olga Mohan, and the
Charles and Joanne Knight Alzheimer’s Research Initiative of the
Washington University Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Source: Roe CM, Fagan AM, Grant EA, et. al. Amyloid
imaging and CSF biomarkers in predicting cognitive impairment up to 7.5
years later. Neurology, DOI 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182918ca6
University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer
faculty physicians also are the medical staff of
Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the
leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the
nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World
Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis
Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to
The original report was written By Michael C.
University School of Medicine.
Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners
You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.
In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.
They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.
If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.
Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...
Janicek Law Firm, PC
(Call toll free)
VW Jetta SportWagen (2009–2014)
VW Golf (2010-2015)
VW Golf SportWagen (2015)
VW Beetle (2012–2015)
VW Passat (2012-2015)
Audi A3 (2010-2015)
VW Touareg (2009–2016)
Porsche Cayenne (2015)
Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)