Early Alzheimer's Test Under Development

Test would use markers in spinal fluid to detect Alzheimer's

(RxWiki News) One of the heart breaking realities of Alzheimer's Disease is that it's often not diagnosed until memory loss is already apparent. A new test is in the process of being developed that could bring new hope and earlier treatment to sufferers.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky are working on a potential test to detect and confirm Alzheimer's disease in its earliest stages. This test would rely on biomarkers (substances that indicate presence of disease) found in cerebrospinal fluid.

"Ask your doctor about new diagnostic test for early Alzheimer's Disease."

Mark Lovell, Ph.D. and Bert Lynn, Ph.D. of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging have been working for some time with biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease. They have identified specific markers for Alzheimer's in cerebrospinal fluid.

This would be a significant development, as existing treatments for Alzheimer's disease are most effective if started extremely early in the progression of the disease — often before clinical signs of cognitive impairment are apparent.

"A reliable biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease is desperately needed to identify individuals very early in the disease process, so that therapeutic interventions can begin when they may be most effective, before memory problems develop," said Linda Van Eldik, director of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

In Depth

  • The UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging maintains a large cohort of research volunteers, many of whom have donated cerebrospinal fluid for research on this diagnostic test
Review Date: 
April 25, 2011