Experts have investigated Alzheimer’s progression and they have found out that Alzheimer’s disease evolves long before the symptoms appear. The disease can already be present years before the patient starts showing any symptoms.
Scientists from Indiana University have proved that the genetic variant most commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease could contribute to plaque buildup in the brain and this can generate reduced cognitive ability and memory loss.
Alzheimer’s is a chronic degenerative disease and it is responsible for 60-70 percent of dementia cases. After diagnosis people who suffer from this disease have an average life expectancy of only three to nine years.
The study published in the journal Alzheimer`s and Dementia concentrated on significant memory concerns. The research involved over 600 older adults who were ADNI (Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative) candidates. The research team led by Andrew J. Saykin and Shannon L. Risacher separated the participants with the APOE e4 gene from those with other types of gene.
The participants who displayed significant memory concerns were placed in the subjective cognitive decline group. This means that they had a difficult time remembering memories from months or years in the past. However they have a normal score in common cognition and memory tests.
The findings of the study indicate that those participants who carried the APOE e4 gene displayed pathologies similar to Alzheimer’s disease. The biomarkers in the case of these participants indicated decreased levels of protein precursor of the cerebrospinal fluid plaques and increased levels of amyloid plaque, meaning the mass of protein fragments which is usually found in the brain tissue of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers also discovered increased levels of tau, which is another protein linked to Alzheimer’s. According to the scientists the changed level of protein precursor of cerebrospinal fluid plaques suggests that the protein was used in the brain in the process of plaque formation.
Although these biomarkers were discovered researchers did not find any proof of atrophy of particular structures in the brain neither any decreased glucose metabolism. Dr. Risache concluded that there is much room for research in the case of patients who have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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