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Researchers seeking to identify Alzheimer's risk focus on specific blood biomarker
Date:9/9/2008

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The principal investigator on the Northern Manhattan study, Richard Mayeux, M.D., M.S., professor of neurology, psychiatry, and epidemiology, and co-director of the Taub Institute of Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain at CUMC, likens the finding to something similar that is seen in heart attack patients, who typically have elevated lipid levels in their bloodstream prior to a heart attack, but post-heart attack lipid levels may decrease.

Using more specific antibodies developed by the Ravetch Laboratory at Rockefeller University, the researchers were able to hone in on the most detrimental form of amyloid compound, the protofibrillar form of A, according to Dr. Mayeux, who is the senior author of this paper.

While the cognitive impairments of Alzheimer's can be monitored throughout the disease course, clinicians have had no reliable way to monitor the pathologic progression of the disease. Being able to reliably measure A levels in the blood could provide clinicians with a tool that forecasts the onset of Alzheimer's much earlier. Earlier detection would of course be an important step in combating the disease, researchers said.


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Contact: Alex Lyda
mal2133@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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