Navigation Links
Blood test predicts chance of dementia

Frontal lobe dementia

Frontal lobe dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, FTD) strikes people at an earlier age. After Alzheimer's disease, FTD is the form of dementia that occurs most frequently in patients younger than 65. In FTD, the disease process starts in the frontal lobe where large numbers of brain cells begin to die off. The frontal lobe is the foremost part of the brain and constitutes about 30% of the brain. Among other things, it is involved in regulating behavior, movement and mood, and it is responsible for cognitive functions such as language. So, the first clinical signs of FTD are changes in behavior and personality, and then, in a later stage of the disease, the loss of memory functions.

Progranulin: a main actor

Genetic research has shown previously that there is a genetic defect in chromosome 17 in a large percentage of the families with FTD. There are two genes in chromosome 17 that, if a defect occurs, cause a hereditable form of FTD. In 1998, defects were found in the gene for the tau protein, a substance that appears in the protein clots in the brains of FTD and Alzheimer's patients. In 2006, Christine Van Broeckhoven's team discovered hereditable defects in the gene for the progranulin protein. They predicted that people with these hereditable defects produce only half of the normal amount of progranulin.

This has been confirmed by Christine Van Broeckhoven's team, who have shown that a shortage of this growth factor leads to the dying off of brain cells in the frontal lobe and in this way causes FTD. New results indicate that progranulin also plays a role in the death of brain cells in other diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Predictive test

On the basis of their research, Kristel Sleegers, a scientist in Van Broeckhoven's team, has developed a test for measuring the quantity of progranulin in the blood in a simple way. This test enables one to determine whether someone has an increased risk of FTD due to a shortage of progranulin long before symptoms appear. The blood test can be used on a large scale and is much more simple and user-friendly than the current genetic tests. This finding also offers prospects for the early detection of FTD caused by a shortage of progranulin.

However, it is still too early for a medicine to combat FTD. Further scientific research is needed to determine how a shortage of progranulin can be restored to normal.


Contact: Sooike Stoops
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)

Related biology news :

1. Penn research team tests bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism in stroke victims
2. Tiny tool to control growing blood vessels opens new potential in tumor research
3. Researcher seeks to turn stem cells into blood vessels
4. High-fat diets inflame fat tissue around blood vessels, contribute to heart disease
5. GEN reports on strategies to overcome blood-brain barrier
6. Cutting salt isnt the only way to reduce blood pressure
7. Statins may treat blood vessel disorder that can lead to fatal strokes
8. Genetic testing not cost-effective in guiding initial dosing of common blood thinner
9. Control of blood vessels a possible weapon against obesity
10. High blood sugars impact on immune system holds clues to improving islet cell transplants
11. Using the other guys toolkit: Similarities of pumping blood, oil examined
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/20/2016)... 20, 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading ... for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced ... it has secured the final acceptance by all ... Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will ... be installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control ... right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... June 3, 2016 ... Nepal hat ein ... hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und ... der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche ... im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a ... $1 million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank ... automation and to advance its drug development efforts, as ... facility. "SVB has been an incredible strategic ... services a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June ... be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 adds ... to its pharmaceuticals section with historic and forecast ... much more. Complete report on the ... profiling 15 companies and supported with 261 tables ... . The Global Cell Culture ...
Breaking Biology Technology: