(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - STANFORD, Calif., Oct. 15 -- A way to predict the development of Alzheimer's disease years before its clinical onset has been described by investigators here.
A group of 18 cell-signaling proteins in blood plasma, involved in inflammatory and immune processes, appears to distinguish Alzheimer's from controls with close to 90% accuracy, and could one day offer a predictive diagnostic test, according to its developers.
The experimental protein panel, if verified in additional tests, could also predict which patients with mild cognitive impairment may progress to Alzheimer's-type dementia within six years, reported Tony Wyss-Coray, Ph.D., of Stanford, and colleagues, online in Nature Medicine.
"Our technology enables us to 'listen' to the chatter of cells communicating with each other and determine if there's anything abnormal," Dr. Wyss-Coray said. "Our data indicate blood contains a highly specific, biological signature that can characterize Alzheimer's disease years before a clinical diagnosis can be made.
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