A study of frozen blood samples has revealed a host of proteins that could predict several forms of dementia more than 10 years before the disease is diagnosed, researchers in Britain and China announced Monday.
The study, published in the journal Nature Aging, is part of ongoing research by several teams to identify patients at risk of dementia using a simple blood test, an advance that many scientists believe will accelerate the development of new treatments.
Currently, brain scans can detect abnormal levels of a protein called beta-amyloid years before Alzheimer’s dementia develops, but the tests are expensive and often not covered by insurance.
“Based on this study, it seems likely that blood tests will be developed that can predict the risk of developing dementia within the next 10 years, although people at higher risk often have difficulty knowing how to respond.”, said Dr. Suzanne Schindler, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. Louis, who was not involved in the research.
Study author Jian-Feng Feng, of Fudan University in Shanghai, said such analyzes are essential in aging populations such as China’s, and noted that he is in discussions for the potential commercial development of a test of blood based on the research done.
In the study, researchers from the University of Warwick and Fudan University studied 52,645 blood samples from the UK Biobank research repository, collected between 2006 and 2010 from people who did not show signs of dementia at the time. Of these, 1,417 people eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia or dementia of any cause. The researchers studied the protein signatures common to these people and discovered 1,463 proteins associated with dementia, which they ranked according to how likely they were to predict dementia.
Thus, the researchers found that people who had higher levels of the proteins GFAP, NEFL, GDF15 and LTBP2 in their blood were much more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia or dementia of any cause.
People with high levels of GFAP had a 2.32 times greater risk of developing dementia, confirming the findings of smaller studies that highlighted the contribution of this protein.
Authors stated whether their research was independently validated.
Tags: study, China,
Publication date: 02-13-2024 08:11
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