The medical science seems to be making progress in finding successful treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, a blood test was developed by the scientists to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s. Now, an Indian-origin scientist have claimed that our eyes and sense of smell can predict the onset of disease, and that too in a cheaper and easier way.
According to Professor Davangere Devanand and other researchers, our eyes and sense of smell could reveal the memory loss disorder early.
According to the scientists, a decreased ability to identify odour can reveal the development of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, they say, examinations of the eye could also indicate the onset of the disease by revealing the build-up of beta-amyloid, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s.
“In the face of the growing worldwide Alzheimer’s disease epidemic, there is a pressing need for simple, less invasive diagnostic tests that will identify the risk of Alzheimer’s much earlier in the disease process,” said Heather Snyder, director of medical and scientific operations, Alzheimer’s Association.
The global science fraternity is working rigorously to find a possible indicator of serious health issue like Alzheimer’s. Presently, Alzheimer’s can only be detected in the later stage of its development when significant brain damage has already occurred.
Clinically, it is detected with the help of Beta-amyloid protein, a primary material found in the sticky brain.
For the study, the scientists analysed a multi-ethnic sample of 1,037 non-demented elderly people in New York City. They found that the lower odour identification scores on a smell identification test in 757 participants were significantly associated with the transition to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Odour identification deficits were associated with the transition to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and with cognitive decline in cognitively intact participants, in our community sample,” Devanand said.
In another study, researchers found that amyloid levels detected in the retina were significantly associated with brain amyloid levels as shown by PET (Positron emission tomography) imaging.
The study was published on Sunday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
New blood test can predict Alzheimer’s with 90 percent accuracy
Recently, a group of scientists has claimed that they have invented a new blood test for tracing Alzheimer’s disease risk with more than 90 percent accuracy.
According to the study published in the journal Nature Medicine, a new blood test can predict if a healthy person will develop mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease within three years. Moreover, the test has the ability to identify 10 lipids, or fats, in the blood that predict Alzheimer’s disease onset.
The largest study of its kind to date was seen as a major breakthrough by the scientific fraternity in the field Alzheimer’s study. The researchers, however, have expressed need for more extensive studies to validate their findings.
Facts and Figures
According to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, the disease is the sixth leading killer in our country.
According to Alzheimer’s Association, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia will grow as the US population of those age 65 and older increases.
Alzheimer’s affects patient’s memory, communication skills and their executive functions.
In 2014, it’s expected that USD 214 billion will be spent on people suffering from the disease or a form of it.
Moreover, it is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death for older Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.