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Markers in Blood and Spinal Fluid, and a New Imaging Agent, Show Promise for Early Detection of Alzheimer's
Date:7/29/2008

CHICAGO, July 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the continued aging of the population and the growing epidemic of Alzheimer's, early detection of the disease is crucial for risk assessment, testing new therapies, and eventual early intervention with better drugs, once they are developed. Four studies reported today at the Alzheimer's Association's 2008 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD 2008) in Chicago bring us closer to that goal of early detection by describing advances in biomarkers.

A biomarker is a substance or characteristic that can be objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal body processes, disease processes, or the body's response(s) to a therapeutic intervention.

It is widely believed that Alzheimer's disease brain changes, including amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, begin many years before symptoms are evident or there is significant death of brain cells. It is critical to identify affected individuals while they are still cognitively normal so that future disease modifying therapies can preserve normal function. The testing and eventual use of such therapies requires identification of affected and "at risk" individuals in order to steer them to clinical trials, and to direct and monitor therapy.

"Discovery of measurable markers that track with the presence of Alzheimer's pathology and that predict the development of cognitive decline in people who are still cognitively normal, known as 'antecedent biomarkers,' are especially needed," said William Thies, PhD, vice president of Medical and Scientific Relations at the Alzheimer's Association. "It is greatly preferable that these markers be easy to obtain, such as in samples of blood or urine, or through readily available imaging technologies, such as MRI and PET."

Blood Test on White Blood Cells May Be Useful for Early Detection of Alzheimer's

Healthy brain cells do not go through the process of division and replic
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
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