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UCLA scientists identify how immune cells may help predict Alzheimer's risk
Date:7/13/2009

What if you could test your risk for Alzheimer's disease much like your cholesterol levels through a simple blood test?

UCLA scientists have discovered a way to measure the amount of amyloid beta that is being absorbed by immune cells in the blood. Amyloid beta forms the plaques considered the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, and if the immune system isn't adequately clearing amyloid beta, it may indicate Alzheimer's risk, according to the researchers.

MP Biomedicals LLC, a global life sciences and diagnostics company dedicated to Alzheimer's disease research, has received an exclusive, worldwide license to commercialize the UCLA technology and create a diagnostic blood test for public use to screen for Alzheimer's risk.

"Early diagnosis is the cornerstone of preventive approaches to Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Milan Fiala, lead author of the UCLA study and a researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. "We are pleased that the process we've identified using immune cells to help predict Alzheimer's risk will be further developed by MP Biomedicals."

"We are excited by the opportunity to forward the UCLA science in creating a cost-effective blood test to screen for Alzheimer's risk that could be used in any hospital or lab," said Milan Panic, CEO of MP Biomedicals.

Dr. Miodrag Micic, vice president of research and development for MP Biomedicals, noted that other blood tests for Alzheimer's diagnosis measure factors such as inflammation and infection, which are also present in other diseases like atheroclerosis and may complicate the interpretation of results.

The recently published study on the process identified by UCLA, which uses the "innate" immune system present at birth, appeared in the May issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

In the study, researchers took blood samples and isolated monocytes
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert  

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