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Researchers Have Identified A Blood Biomarker That May Indicate Alzheimer’s Disease Ten Years Before Symptom Onset, Another Recent Win In The Fight For Early Diagnosis And Intervention

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Approximately 6.5 million American adults ages sixty-five and older are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Although the progressive neurologic disorder actually begins decades before patients experience any symptom onset– such as difficulty completing tasks, challenges in problem-solving or planning, and memory loss.

Countless research efforts have thus been launched in order to increase the likelihood of early AD diagnosis– since this provides physicians with a greater opportunity to slow down the disease’s progression in patients through the use of drugs and therapies.

And just last week, a new study conducted by Karolinska Institutet in Sweden may have pushed us one step closer to that goal.

The researchers focused on an inherited form of the disease and found that a protein– known as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)– is a potential biomarker for extremely early stages of AD.

“Our results suggest that GFAP, a presumed biomarker for activated immune cells in the brain, reflects changes in the brain due to Alzheimer’s disease that occurs before the accumulation of tau protein and measurable neuronal damage,” explained Charlotte Johansson, the study’s first author.

With AD, nerve cells located in the brain will degenerate due to the abnormal accumulation of two proteins– tau and beta-amyloid.

Then, as greater amounts of brain neurons suffer damage, cognitive functions will be impacted– resulting in the dysfunction of speech and memory.

AD progresses gradually, and these biological changes within the brain begin twenty to twenty-five years before memory loss, and various other cognitive symptoms are observed.

WavebreakmediaMicro – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

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