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Thread: Urine test to spot Alzheimer's

  1. #1

    Urine test to spot Alzheimer's

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/hea...00/2043602.stm

    Monday, 17 June, 2002, 01:41 GMT 02:41 UK
    Urine test to spot Alzheimer's

    A simple urine test could be used to predict a person's chances of developing Alzheimer's disease, say scientists.

    Researchers say the breakthrough will now make it easier to track and treat the condition.

    Further tests could then be used to determine the severity of a patients' condition and course of treatment.

    Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that the urine test could detect damage associated with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), such as memory loss, which is recognised as a precursor to Alzheimer's.

    It is widely believed that accurate early diagnosis of Alzheimer's is vital if we are to offer an effective long-term treatment for this devastating disease

    Rebecca Wood of the Alzheimer's Research Trust

    Test results

    The test detects isoprostanes, chemicals which scientists believe are released in the brain as a result of Alzheimer's damage.

    Within four years of being diagnosed with MCI, up to half the sufferers will go on to develop Alzheimer's.

    Domenico Pratico, assistant professor in Penn's Department of Pharmacology, said the test could help doctors slow the progress of the disease if they catch it early enough.

    "This is the first non-invasive test that can predict a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

    "Since there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, physicians could slow the course of the disease if it is caught early enough."

    In their study, published in the Archives of Neurology, Professor Pratico and his team studied 123 people, 50 of whom had Alzheimer's and 33 who had MCI.

    The new test is not widely available at the moment, but the team is developing a more user friendly version.

    Hope

    Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust said a test like this would offer hope to sufferers.

    "It is widely believed that accurate early diagnosis of Alzheimer's is vital if we are to offer an effective long-term treatment for this devastating disease.

    "There is a lot of work taking place to find an accurate, cheap, and non-invasive way of diagnosing Alzheimer's early, including a major project in London being funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust.

    "These results from the US could be promising, but it will be necessary to do significant further research to expand on this work."

  2. #2

    Urine Test May Help Identify Alzheimer's Risk

    Source:

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Damage associated with mild impairment of a person's thinking and reasoning skills--often a precursor to memory-robbing Alzheimer's disease ( news - web sites)--appears to be detectable in urine, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

    The findings may one day lead to a simple urine test to identify people who are at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's, according to the report published in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

    "This is the first non-invasive test that can predict a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Domenico Pratico said in prepared statement from the university. "Since there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, physicians could slow the course of the disease if it is caught early enough."

    Currently, doctors rely on symptoms to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, but the diagnosis is imprecise since dementia in the elderly can have other causes. A definite diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is not possible until after death, when an autopsy can reveal brain deposits known as plaques and tangles that are present in the disease.

    Previously, Pratico and colleagues identified increased levels of a class of chemical called isoprostanes--fatty acids that are associated with oxidative damage in the brain--in the spinal fluid, blood and urine of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Oxidative damage is caused by free radicals, which are cell-damaging byproducts of the body's natural metabolic processes, and has been implicated in heart disease and cancer. Some researchers also believe oxidative damage may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's.

    In the current investigation, Practico's team evaluated levels of a specific isoprostane in the spinal fluid, blood and urine of people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). According to the authors, recent research suggests that a diagnosis of MCI may indicate a 50% risk of developing Alzheimer's disease within the next 4 years.

    Samples of the body fluids were taken from 50 people with Alzheimer's disease, 33 people with MCI and 40 elderly people with normal mental function. Levels of the isoprostane were higher in spinal fluid, blood and urine of both Alzheimer's and MCI patients compared to the healthy people, the report indicates.

    The findings add further support to the notion that oxidative damage is an early sign of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers note.

    Practico and colleagues call for more studies to determine if a urine test could indeed help identify people at increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

    SOURCE: Archives of Neurology 2002;59:972-976.

  3. #3

    Interesting

    "A simple urine test could be used to predict a person's chances of developing Alzheimer's disease, say scientists."

    I was thinking part of this test would be if they could remember where the bathroom is located. Maybe not...

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