Dementia Warning Indicators Have Been Discovered In the Blood

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : October 14, 2021

Scientists discovered chemicals in the bloodstream that could signal the onset of dementia. Their results were founded on human investigations and experiments and were published in the scholarly journal EMBO Molecular Health. The studies also included university hospitals from several countries.

Dementia Warning Indicators Have Been Discovered In the Blood

Among older adults, dementia is a medical condition that troubles not only the patient but also his family members. Due to increasing cases of this health issue, the experts have focused on research that can help detect the cause and remove its effects if possible.

Among the latest research, the experts have found the indicators of this disease in human blood that can help one detect it early and take required treatment. The biomarkers presented by Prof. André Fischer’s group are predicated on assessing the quantities of microRNAs.

Dementia Warning Indicators Have Been Discovered In the Blood

Because the procedure isn’t yet feasible, the researchers want to create basic blood work that may be used in ordinary clinical treatment to detect dementia risks. As per the findings, microRNAs might also be used as an objective for dementia treatment.

“When symptoms of dementia manifest, the brain has already been massively damaged. Presently, diagnosis happens far too late to even have a chance for effective treatment. If dementia is detected early, the odds of positively influencing the course of the disease increase,” says André Fischer, research group leader and spokesperson at the DZNE site in Göttingen and professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

“We need tests that ideally respond before the onset of dementia and reliably estimate the risk of later disease. In other words, tests that give an early warning. We are confident that our current study results pave the way for such tests.”

Fischer & his colleagues discovered a biomarker predicated on blood microRNA measurements. MicroRNAs were regulatory elements that regulate the creation of enzymes, hence a vital component in each live organism’s metabolic. “There are many different microRNAs, and each of them can regulate entire networks of interdependent proteins and thus influence complex processes in the organism. So microRNAs have a broad impact. We wanted to find out whether there are specific microRNAs whose presence in the blood correlates with mental fitness,” Fischer says.

As in conclusion, the results fit altogether as puzzle pieces: MicroRNA concentrations were linked to cognitive activity in healthy people. The participants scored higher in memory assessments when their blood levels were reduced.

In mice, this rating grew even when the animals began to show signs of mental deterioration, irrespective of it is related to aging or whether they acquired signs comparable to those associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Individuals with MCI provided more proof: After two years, almost 90 percent of individuals with a significant level of the plasma biomarker had Alzheimer’s illness. According to Fischer, “We, therefore, see an increased blood level of these three microRNAs as a harbinger of dementia,” Fischer says, “We estimate that in humans this biomarker indicates a development that is about two to five years in the future.”

“In our view, they are not only markers but also have an active impact on pathological processes. This makes them potential targets for therapy,” Fischer says.

“Indeed, we see in mice that learning ability improves when these microRNAs are blocked with drugs. We’ve observed this in mice with age-related mental deficits, as well as in mice with brain damage similar to that occurring in Alzheimer’s disease.” This innovative marker nevertheless has to be tested, and the existing measuring process is too complicated to be feasible: “In further studies, we aim to validate this biomarker clinically. In addition, we intend to develop a simple test procedure for point-of-care screening,” says Fischer

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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