Tag Archives: Lifestyle Cognitive Functional Health and Demographic Risk Markers

University of Alberta study: Scientists pave the way for saliva test for Alzheimer’s disease

17 Dec

The National Institute on Aging described Alzheimer’s disease in What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?:

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. In most people with the disease—those with the late-onset type—symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. Early-onset Alzheimer’s occurs between a person’s 30s and mid-60s and is very rare. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.
The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary, or tau, tangles).
These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered some of the main features of Alzheimer’s disease. Another feature is the loss of connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. Neurons transmit messages between different parts of the brain, and from the brain to muscles and organs in the body. Many other complex brain changes are thought to play a role in Alzheimer’s, too.
This damage initially appears to take place in the hippocampus, the part of the brain essential in forming memories. As neurons die, additional parts of the brain are affected. By the final stage of Alzheimer’s, damage is widespread, and brain tissue has shrunk significantly.
How Many Americans Have Alzheimer’s Disease?
Estimates vary, but experts suggest that as many as 5.5 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s. Many more under age 65 also have the disease. Unless Alzheimer’s can be effectively treated or prevented, the number of people with it will increase significantly if current population trends continue. This is because increasing age is the most important known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
What Does Alzheimer’s Disease Look Like?
Memory problems are typically one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s, though initial symptoms may vary from person to person. A decline in other aspects of thinking, such as finding the right words, vision/spatial issues, and impaired reasoning or judgment, may also signal the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s, but not everyone with MCI will develop the disease.
People with Alzheimer’s have trouble doing everyday things like driving a car, cooking a meal, or paying bills. They may ask the same questions over and over, get lost easily, lose things or put them in odd places, and find even simple things confusing. As the disease progresses, some people become worried, angry, or violent…. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-alzheimers-disease

Artificial Intelligence (AI) might provide clues to the early detection of Alzheimer’s. See, McGill University study: AI could predict cognitive decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease in the next five years https://drwilda.com/tag/alzheimers-disease/

Science Daily reported in Scientists pave the way for saliva test for Alzheimer’s disease:

University of Alberta scientists have identified three biomarkers for detecting mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in saliva samples. The research has promising results for application in a clinical setting.
The research team combines expertise in metabolomics from Liang Li, professor in the Department of Chemistry, and neurodegenerative disorders from Roger Dixon, professor in the Department of Psychology. “All projections point to an impending and staggering global impact of neurodegenerative disease and dementia,” said Dixon of the critical importance of this research.
Li and Dixon examined saliva samples from three sets of patients, those with Alzheimer’s disease, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those with normal cognition. Using a powerful mass spectrometer, the pair examined more than 6,000 metabolites — compounds that are part of our body’s metabolic processes — to identify any changes or signatures between groups.
“In this analysis, we found three metabolites that can be used to differentiate between these three groups,” said Li. “This is preliminary work, because we’ve used a very small sample size. But the results are very promising. If we can use a larger set of samples, we can validate our findings and develop a saliva test of Alzheimer’s disease.”
A saliva test would prove useful in clinical settings for its ease and non-invasive nature. It also has the potential to detect neurodegenerative diseases earlier on, allowing for early intervention.
“So far, no disease-altering interventions for Alzheimer’s disease have been successful,” explained Dixon. “For this reason, researchers are aiming to discover the earliest signals of the disease so that prevention protocols can be implemented….” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181212121904.htm

Citation:

Scientists pave the way for saliva test for Alzheimer’s disease
Date: December 12, 2018
Source: University of Alberta
Summary:
Scientists have identified three biomarkers for detecting mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in saliva samples. The research has promising results for application in a clinical setting.
Journal Reference:
Shraddha Sapkota, Tao Huan, Tran Tran, Jiamin Zheng, Richard Camicioli, Liang Li, Roger A. Dixon. Alzheimer’s Biomarkers From Multiple Modalities Selectively Discriminate Clinical Status: Relative Importance of Salivary Metabolomics Panels, Genetic, Lifestyle, Cognitive, Functional Health and Demographic Risk Markers. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2018; 10 DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00296

Here is the press release from the University of Alberta:

Scientists pave the way for saliva test for Alzheimer’s disease
UAlberta researchers have identified biomarkers for identifying Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment in saliva samples.
By Katie Willis on December 5, 2018
University of Alberta scientists have identified three biomarkers for detecting mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in saliva samples. The research has promising results for application in a clinical setting.
The research team combines expertise in metabolomics from Liang Li, professor in the Department of Chemistry, and neurodegenerative disorders from Roger Dixon, professor in the Department of Psychology. “All projections point to an impending and staggering global impact of neurodegenerative disease and dementia,” said Dixon of the critical importance of this research.
Li and Dixon examined saliva samples from three sets of patients, those with Alzheimer’s disease, those with mild cognitive impairment, and those with normal cognition. Using a powerful mass spectrometer, the pair examined more than 6,000 metabolites—compounds that are part of our body’s metabolic processes—to identify any changes or signatures between groups.
“In this analysis, we found three metabolites that can be used to differentiate between these three groups,” said Li. “This is preliminary work, because we’ve used a very small sample size. But the results are very promising. If we can use a larger set of samples, we can validate our findings and develop a saliva test of Alzheimer’s disease.”
A saliva test would prove useful in clinical settings for its ease and non-invasive nature. It also has the potential to detect neurodegenerative diseases earlier on, allowing for early intervention.
“So far, no disease-altering interventions for Alzheimer’s disease have been successful,” explained Dixon. “For this reason, researchers are aiming to discover the earliest signals of the disease so that prevention protocols can be implemented.”
Another added benefit of identifying these biomarkers is the ability to conduct efficacy testing for treatments. “Using the biomarkers, we can also do testing to see what types of treatments are most effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease—from diet to physical activity to pharmaceuticals,” added Li.
The research has been published in two papers. The first, “Metabolomics Analyses of Saliva Detect Novel Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (doi: 10.3233/JAD-180711). The second, “Alzheimer’s Biomarkers From Multiple Modalities Selectively Discriminate Clinical Status: Relative Importance of Salivary Metabolomics Panels, Genetic, Lifestyle, Cognitive, Functional Health and Demographic Risk Markers,” was published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00296).

In order for the U.S. to control health care costs, diseases such as Alzheimer’s which are costly end of life diseases must be managed.

Resources:

What Is Alzheimer’s?                                                                           https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease: the Basics https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/understanding-alzheimers-disease-basics

What’s to know about Alzheimer’s disease? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/159442.php

Alzheimer’s Disease                                          https://www.cdc.gov/aging/aginginfo/alzheimers.htm

What is Artificial Intelligence? https://www.computerworld.com/article/2906336/emerging-technology/what-is-artificial-intelligence.html

Artificial Intelligence: What it is and why it matters https://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/analytics/what-is-artificial-intelligence.html

Alzheimer’s Disease                                                                        https://drwilda.com/tag/alzheimers-disease/

Brain                                                                                                          https://drwilda.com/tag/brain/

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