Breakthrough in Predicting Alzheimer's Disease
Scientists involved in the research project hope the signs, detectable in spinal fluid and brain scans, will aid the understanding of how the disease progresses in order to produce new treatments for the more common form of the disease, which is not inherited.
The ‘timeline’ of the disease was published in The New England Journal of Medicine and developed by a team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis.
The research indicated the following:
- The earliest detectable changes, a drop in spinal fluid levels of the key ingredient of Alzheimer’s brain plaques, can be detected 25 years before the anticipated age of onset.
- The plaques in the brain become visible on a brain scan 15 years before memory problems become apparent.
- Increased levels of a protein called tau in the spinal fluid appears and the shrinkage of parts of the brain also becomes evident at around 15 years before memory loss.
- A reduction in the brain's use of glucose and slight memory problems in certain areas can be detected 10 years before full-blown symptoms.
Dr Randall Bateman, Professor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine said, “A series of changes begins in the brain decades before the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease are noticed by patients or families, and this cascade of events may provide a timeline for symptomatic onset. As we learn more about the origins of Alzheimer's to plan preventive treatments, this Alzheimer's timeline will be invaluable for successful drug trials."
Dr Laurie Ryan, Clinical Trials Program Director at the National Institute on Aging, in America, said, “These exciting findings are the first to confirm what we have long suspected, that disease onset begins years before the first sign of cognitive decline or memory loss. And while participants are at risk for the rare, genetic form of the disease, insights gained from the study will greatly inform our understanding of late-onset Alzheimer's disease.”
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Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”