03 Apr 2012
An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the
The team of four* spent a year studying data from the international Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database, the most comprehensive collection of Alzheimer’s data in the world.
The study was funded by the
Senior author Professor Pablo Moscato said the results were likely to be significant for the way Alzheimer’s was diagnosed.
“Currently, Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis is based on clinical observations and testing of cognitive capacity and memory loss,” he said.
“The only reliable and accurate biological markers so far identified for early diagnosis require measurement by either expensive procedures such as brain imaging, or invasive procedures, for example spinal punctures.
“Our study makes a considerable step towards cheap, non-invasive testing by identifying a blood protein panel to predict Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages.”
Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is considered vital for effective intervention as there is no cure. The only available treatments are drugs that improve the functioning of neurons but do not stop the disease progressing.
Alzheimer’s disease attacks the brain resulting in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour. It is the most common form of dementia, affecting one in 25 Australians aged 60 years and over.
* Research team: Senior author - Professor Pablo Moscato, Co-Director,
The researchers work in collaboration with HMRI’s Information Based Medicine Program. HMRI is a partnership between the
View the journal article online: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0034341
Professor Pablo Moscato: (02) 4921 6056 or 0434 216 209
Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations, the
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