Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Now, researchers have developed a sensor that has made it possible to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia that can affect a person for 15 to 20 years without having any symptoms in the person’s body. Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and timely action to treat it is a vital and key issue that is not always possible.

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Alzheimer’s diagnosis before the onset of the disease

For such a purpose, i.e. early detection of the disease, a group of researchers at the University of Bochum, Germany, has designed a new sensor that can detect Alzheimer’s symptoms in the blood even 17 years before the first clinical symptoms appear.

This sensor can detect the misfolding of amyloid beta protein. At the same time as the disease progresses, this folding leads to the creation of deposits in the brain called plaque. Professor Klaus Groert, director and founder of the Center for Protein Detection at Rohr University Bochum, says:

Our goal is to detect the risk of developing Alzheimer’s with a simple blood test even before toxic plaques form in the brain, so that we can start treatment in time.

Currently, Professor Groert is carrying out his research in this regard with another group at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg under the supervision of Professor Hermann Brenner.

Researchers take the blood plasma of the volunteers participating in this research between 2000 and 2002 and then freeze it. At that time, Alzheimer’s disease was not yet diagnosed in the participants.

The new sensor is able to detect Alzheimer's disease before the onset of the disease

They then selected 68 people with Alzheimer’s during their 17-year follow-up and compared their sample to 2,400 people without Alzheimer’s. The goal of this team, which consists of Klaus Gervert and Hermann Brenner, is whether the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be seen in early blood samples or not!

The infrared immune sensor designed by the researchers was able to accurately identify 68 people who later developed Alzheimer’s. Prof. Klaus Gervert continues his talk about the possibility of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease before the onset of the disease.

To our surprise, we found that the concentration of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) can indicate the disease up to 17 years before the clinical stage, but its accuracy is much less than the infrared immunosensor.

The researchers then combined amyloid-beta misfolding and glial fibrillary acidic protein concentration to further increase the accuracy of their test in the symptom-free phase.

Researchers at Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum also hope that early detection based on defects in amyloid-beta folding can help in the timely use of Alzheimer’s drugs and be significantly effective. Such as the drug Aduhelm, which is recently used in the United States to treat Alzheimer’s. Grurt says:

By testing folding defects, we want to prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s dementia in the elderly.

The vision of launching this new sensor, called betaSENSE, is to stop the disease in the absence of symptoms and before irreversible damage occurs.

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