New Test Predicts Alzheimer’s

Three markers in spinal fluid may help in development of treatment
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2010 7:15 PM CDT
Jeannette Zeltzer, 81 and boyfriend Max Rakov, 92, who both have Alzheimer's disease, hold hands while sitting on a couch at their assisted living facility, March 8, 2008, in Newton, Mass.   (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)
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(Newser) – The presence of certain biomarkers in spinal fluid can predict the development of Alzheimer's disease, even in patients who display no symptoms, according to breakthrough research being published tomorrow. "This is what everyone is looking for, the bull’s eye of perfect predictive accuracy," a doctor not connected with the study tells the New York Times. "This is literally on the cutting edge of where the field is."

The proteins A1-42, T-tau, and P-tau were present in the cerebrospinal fluid of 90% of Alzheimer's patients studied, as well as 72% of subjects with mild cognitive impairment and 36% of unimpaired subjects. That confirms the disease begins to develop before symptoms become apparent, the LA Times explains. For more on Alzheimer's and signs that Agatha Christie may have suffered from the disease, click here.

(Read more Alzheimer's Disease stories.)

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