WorldThey reveal a simple method for early diagnosis of...

They reveal a simple method for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease


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New research has uncovered a simple and inexpensive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early, paving the way for large-scale screening programs for the disease that affects millions of people around the world each year.

The study identified formic acid as a sensitive biomarker that can detect disease at an early stage, which could pave the way for a convenient and inexpensive test.

Can a simple urine test tell if someone has early-stage Alzheimer’s disease? Could this pave the way for large-scale screening programs?

This is confirmed by a new study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. The researchers evaluated a large group of patients with Alzheimer’s disease of different levels of severity and healthy controls with normal cognition to determine differences in urinary biomarkers.

They found that uric acid is a sensitive marker of subjective cognitive decline that can indicate the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Current methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease are expensive, inconvenient and inadequate for routine detection. This means that most patients are not diagnosed until it is too late for effective treatment. However, a non-invasive, inexpensive, and convenient urine test for formic acid may be just what your doctor ordered for early detection.

The authors state that “Alzheimer’s disease is chronic, latent and persistent, which means that it can develop and persist for many years before overt cognitive decline appears. The early stages of the disease progress to the irreversible dementia stage and this is a golden window for intervention and treatment. Therefore, widespread detection of early Alzheimer’s disease is essential for the elderly.

Alzheimer’s disease screening programs

And if early intervention is so important, why are there still no routine screening programs for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease? The problem lies with the diagnostic technologies currently available. This involves a CT scan of the brain, which is expensive and exposes the patient to radiation. There are also vital signs tests that can detect Alzheimer’s disease, but require a blood draw or spinal tap to obtain cerebrospinal fluid, which may be inappropriate for patients.

However, urine testing is non-invasive, convenient, and suitable for large-scale screening. While researchers have already identified urinary biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, none have been adequate to detect the early stages of the disease, meaning the golden window for early treatment is still some way off.

Formic acid: the golden key?

The researchers who conducted this new study had previously investigated an organic compound called formaldehyde as a urinary biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there was room for improvement in detecting the disease at an early stage. In this latest study, they focused primarily on formic acid, a metabolite of formaldehyde, to see if it worked better as a biomarker.

A total of 574 people participated in the study, and the participants were either healthy volunteers with normal cognition or had varying degrees of disease progression, ranging from subjective cognitive impairment to full-blown disease. The researchers analyzed urine and blood samples from the participants and performed psychological assessments.

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease

The study found that urinary formic acid levels were significantly increased in all Alzheimer’s groups compared with healthy controls, including the early-stage subjective cognitive impairment group, and were associated with cognitive decline. This suggests that formic acid may act as a sensitive biomarker in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, when the researchers analyzed the levels of formic acid in the urine along with the biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in the blood, they found that they could more accurately predict the stage of the disease the patient was in. However, more research is needed to understand the link between Alzheimer’s disease and ants.

“Urine ANT showed excellent sensitivity for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease,” the authors add, emphasizing that “Urinary biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease are appropriate and cost-effective and should be performed during routine physical examinations in the elderly.

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Source: Al Ittihad

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I'm Harold O'Connor and I work as an author and editor for News Unrolled, a news website dedicated to delivering the latest world events. With my in-depth research skills, passion for news writing, and keen eye for detail, I strive to provide readers with accurate information on current affairs from around the globe.


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