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Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Could Alzheimer's Disease Be Diagnosed With a Simple Blood Test?
From Science Daily: A pilot study suggests infrared analysis of white blood cells is a promising strategy for diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
Spanish researchers, led by Pedro Carmona from the Instituto de Estructura de la Materia in Madrid, have uncovered a new promising way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease more accurately.
Their technique, which is non-invasive, fast and low-cost, measures how much infrared radiation is either emitted or absorbed by white blood cells. Because of its high sensitivity, this method is able to distinguish between the different clinical stages of disease development thereby allowing reliable diagnosis of both mild and moderate stages of Alzheimer's.
The work is published online in Springer's journal Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of adult onset dementia and is characterized by the degeneration of the nervous system. In particular, as the disease progresses, the amount of amyloid-ß peptide in the body rises.
At present, the most reliable and sensitive diagnostic techniques are invasive, e.g. require analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord). However, white blood cells (or mononuclear leukocytes) are also thought to carry amyloid-ß peptide in Alzheimer patients.
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