12:46am Tuesday 14 July 2020

Blood marker reveals severity of Alzheimer's

It’s thought that clusterin has a role to play in Alzheimer’s disease; it has previously been found at higher levels in the blood and spinal fluid of Alzheimer’s patients compared to healthy people. The researchers hypothesise that clusterin is produced in response to Alzheimer’s changes in the brain – possibly playing a protective role.

The new research contradicts some previous findings and suggests that measuring clusterin in the blood might not be a suitable way to detect those in the very earliest stages of the disease, before any symptoms develop. However, assessing clusterin levels as part of clinical trials could help researchers judge the effectiveness of treatments or help confirm an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, though more studies of clusterin will first be needed.

Dr Marie Janson, spokeswoman for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“A blood test to detect Alzheimer’s is a key goal of worldwide dementia research and these findings tell us more about the proteins a test may need to spot. An accurate, reliable test will help us develop new treatments by revealing who would benefit most and at what stage.

“Research is the only answer to dementia, yet our scientists remain in desperate need of funds. Investing in research now will bring the treatment breakthroughs we so urgently need.”

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