Thursday, July 4, 2019 at 12:43PM
Drew Wolfe

New Markers For Alzheimer's Disease Could Aid Diagnosis And Speed Up Drug Development

"Alzheimer's disease begins altering the brain long before it affects memory and thinking."

"So scientists are developing a range of tests to detect these changes in the brain, which include an increase in toxic proteins, inflammation and damage to the connections between brain cells."

"The tests rely on biomarkers, shorthand for biological markers, that signal steps along the progression of disease. These new tests are already making Alzheimer's diagnosis more accurate, and helping pharmaceutical companies test new drugs."

"'For the future, we hope that we might be able to use these biomarkers in order to stop or delay the memory changes from ever happening,' says Maria Carrillo, chief science officer of the Alzheimer's Association. (The association is a recent NPR sponsor.)"

"The first Alzheimer's biomarker test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in in 2012."

"It's a dye called Amyvid that reveals clumps of a protein called amyloid. These amyloid plaques are a hallmark of Alzheimer's."


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