New Alzheimer’s Disease Test Aims for Earlier Detection, Earlier Intervention

Alzheimer's Disease

The Alzheimer’s Association calculates that more than 5 million American are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. It is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, killing an estimated 500,000 people each year. But many of these patients are not diagnosed until the symptoms of the disease have already become apparent. Currently, the available medical technology cannot diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest non-symptomatic stages.

One of the most challenging aspects of Alzheimer’s Disease is actually diagnosing the condition. Cognitive disorders can take many forms, and some of them can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s. However, an Israeli biotechnology firm, NeuroQuest, aims to improve on the diagnostic methods for the disease with a new test that it is currently making its way through clinical trials. The company says that its test could be used for early detection of Alzheimer’s, according to the Jewish Press.

The standard test for detecting Alzheimer’s disease is a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, an expensive test that is used to identify the plaque in the brain that is indicative of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

NeuroQuest is developing its technology that  is a less expensive and less invasive alternative where biomarkers in the blood are tested for molecular signatures that are indicative of a disease. The company says that in clinical trials in Israel, the test was shown to be 87 percent accurate in detecting Alzheimer’s disease, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

NeuroQuest still needs to prove its technology in further human tests. The company will be conducting U.S. clinical trials in 2016 and 2017. The company has already entered into a service agreement with the University of California, San Diego to collect and process 700 blood samples for the trials.

If the NeuroQuest Alzheimer’s diagnostic wins the approval of the Food and Drug Administration, the technology could offer means for earlier detection of Alzheimer’s disease and earlier treatment for the condition. The NeuroQuest diagnostic still needs to conduct clinical trials, which could take years, but the potential for this new technology is very promising.

At David York Agency, we understand the fears and challenges that Alzheimer’s disease can bring, not just for the person diagnosed, but for everyone in their life. We provide families with the support and care they need during this particularly difficult time.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.

Halting Alzheimer’s Disease: How Controlling Inflammation Could Be the Key

Alzheimer's Disease

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that approximately 5.3 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, one in three seniors will die from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. Such staggering statistics may seem dismal, but there is hope on the horizon with recent research findings.

Researchers from the University of Southampton in England have been working with a chemical that reduces neuroinflammation in the brain. This chemical may help protect against the memory and behavioral changes associated with Alzheimer’s.

How Inflammation Plays a Part in Alzheimer’s

It is theorized that an overactive immune system causes chronic inflammation in the brain. Though researchers are not sure, they suspect that the inflammation is a catalyst for the disease rather than the other way around.  Scientists have linked that inflammation to Alzheimer’s in several clinical studies where they have looked at the tissue of a healthy brain versus one afflicted by Alzheimer’s. The brains that suffered from Alzheimer’s showed high levels of immune cells (microglia) and the concentration of these cells were greater as the disease increased in severity thereby suggesting chronic brain inflammation in Alzheimer’s sufferers. The molecules that regulate the number of immune cells clearly became more active as the severity of Alzheimer’s in the brains increased clustering around the amyloid plaques in the brain associated with the disease. The inflammation is believed to not be a result of the Alzheimer’s disease but a key driver of the disease, states a report done by the Huffington Post.

The National Health Service (NHS) reports that mice suffering from symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s experienced improvement when given a drug with the chemical GW2580, which blocked the production of the microglial immune cells that caused brain inflammation. However, the prevalence of amyloid plaques was not diminished.  Research in the mice showed an improvement in the cognitive and behavioral symptoms relating to Alzheimer’s when fed GW2580 thereby inhibiting immune cell production and reducing the inflammation within the brain.

Currently, researchers are very hopeful that controlling inflammation in the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers, through the use of medication, diet and lifestyle changes, has the potential to significantly reduce memory loss caused by the disease, along with a variety of other Alzheimer’s symptoms.

At David York Agency, we understand the fears and challenges that Alzheimer’s disease can bring, not just for the person diagnosed, but for everyone in their life. We hope to provide families with the support and care they need during this particularly difficult time.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free consultation can help you decide what services might be best to provide you and your loved one with the assistance they need. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn.