Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blood Test for Alzheimer's?

This may be promising! Chemist Thomas Kodadek of The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, along with colleagues, may have figured out a way to use peptide molecules in human blood (that stimulate the Immune System to create antibodies)to identify, and perhaps even predict, the presence of Alzheimer's disease. In six people with Alzheimer's disease, the researchers (using 15,000 peptoids) picked up two antibodies found at high levels. "The antibodies were also abundant in the blood from an additional 16 Alzheimer's patients. But these proteins were uncommon in the blood of a handful of people with Parkinson's disease or lupus. The antibodies were also prevalent in two of the 16 healthy controls. Their presence could suggest that the biomarkers aren't specific to Alzheimer's disease. Or it could suggest that these two women (a 75-year-old and a 65-year-old) have early Alzheimer's disease. The researchers favor the latter hypothesis. Their report is in the 7 January issue of Cell, 2011.



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