Alzheimers Drug Early Signs

Alzheimers Drug Early Signs, A test that could predict Alzheimer's years before the first symptoms appear has been developed by scientists.

Scientists have discovered a drug that can highlight 'plaques' - sticky clumps of a protein called beta amyloid - in the brain years before they cause memory and thinking problems.

Treating the disease early could delay the onset of illness by a number of years.

Alzheimer's can currently only be confirmed by an autopsy.

Dr Anne Corbett of the Alzheimer’s Society said: 'Finding ways to increase the number of early and accurate diagnoses is essential if we are to ensure people have access to vital treatments, support and information.

'Yet at the moment, only 43 per cent of people with the condition ever get a diagnosis, meaning hundreds of thousands of people are left struggling alone in the dark.

'This drug research looks positive but was carried out in people with later stage Alzheimer's. We will need to see if it can be converted into a useable and cost effective diagnostic tool to detect very early signs.'

The method, presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in New Orleans, uses the new drug florbetaben as a way of tracing plaques in the brain.

Researchers from Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona, injected more than 200 end-of-life patients both with and without dementia with the drug. They then carried out PET scans and MRI scans to try and detect the beta amyloid.

Plaque levels were then taken from autopsies in 246 brain regions of the 31 people who died during the trial and compared to their earlier scans. This included 60 brain region autopsies from healthy volunteers.

The results showed using florbetaben identified 77 per cent of the positive diagnoses and 94 per cent of the negative diagnoses.

Study leader Dr Marwan Sabbagh, sad: 'This is an easy, non-invasive way to assist an Alzheimer's diagnosis at an early stage.'

Dementia is caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and affects more than 300,000 people in the UK. Author Terry Pratchett is a high profile person with the disease.

A recent study from the World Health Organisation predicted that the number of people suffering dementia around the globe will nearly double to 65.7million sufferers by 2030.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2130475/New-test-Alzheimers-Drug-pinpoints-early-signs-disease.html#ixzz1sJ1RB78p

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