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Study Suggests Blood Test for Alzheimer's Possible
Date:3/11/2009

archers are now working with a sample that controls for other factors that have the potential to influence levels of the two antibodies, such as diabetes and heart disease. Buccafusco and his colleagues are also working to decrease the cost and time involved in the test.

"We're in the process of trying to reduce the test to a one-day procedure, whereas right now it takes three to four days," Buccafusco said. "But even now, our test is orders of magnitude cheaper than having people come in every few months to get a functional MRI or PET scan to try to discern brain plaques."

The team is targeting the two proteins themselves as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Mruthinti explains that, individually, amyloid-beta and RAGE proteins don't provoke an immune response. The trouble begins when the two bind and the immune system attacks, resulting in constant state of inflammation that damages the brain. The researchers recently developed a way to measure levels of amyloid beta-RAGE complex, and preliminary data using transgenic mice that express Alzheimer's symptoms suggest that an antigen they created to boost the body's natural immune response to the complex can reduce the formation of the brain plaques.

"The amyloid beta-RAGE complex cuts off the connections between neurons," Mruthinti explained, "but our hope is that we can protect those connections by preventing those plaques from forming."

The research was funded by a Merit Review Award from the Veterans Administration to principal investigator Mruthinti and by the Medical College of Georgia Alzheimer's Research Center.

Contact:
Sam Fahmy
706/542-5361
sfahmy (at) uga.edu

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Alzheimers/03/prweb2225664.htm.


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