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Blood Plasma Linked-Biomarker Could Flag Timely Incidence of Dementia

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Published on : Dec 24, 2019

Low-cost screening methods for dementias have been an unmet need for researchers. The clinical syndrome characterizes progressive cognitive decline, placing a huge burden on patients, caregivers, and the society as a whole. Accelerating prevalence of certain forms of dementias, notably the Alzheimer's disease (AD), in elderly populations is a flagging concern. Particularly, given the huge out-of-pocket expenditure on its management, this is more concerning. The delayed diagnosis has largely contributed to its prevalence. To put the thing in perspective, patient with AD live for not more than ten years after the diagnosis. Worryingly, early diagnosis and better prognosis can help them live for an average for 20 years.

Study Sheds Light on Role of Biomarkers of Inflammation Underlying AD

The clinical symptoms of dementia are so multifaceted that the role of inflammatory biomarkers in diagnosis neurological diseases is at best in its early stage. Unarguably, scientists world over have been relentlessly trying to expand that understanding especially for dementia. Apart from inflammation, other causes include vitamin deficiency and thyroid problems.

A recent study by researchers in Australia has shed light on biomarkers of inflammation and neuronal injury which play role in dementia, particularly the AD. They found that inflammatory marker in blood plasma, namely sCD14, is linked to incident dementia.

The researchers conducted two community-based studies spanning at least eight years in more than 4,700 respondents. The average age of the participants was 69 in one of the studies and was 72 in the other.

More Drug Trails Needed to Reduce Levels of Blood Biomarkers

They found that the higher presence of sCD14 in blood of the respondents stemmed from injury followed by inflammation, causing cognitive impairment. Unsurprisingly, a series of retrospective epidemiologic studies have shown that anti-inflammatory agents help in slowing down the progression of the AD, but their role in other forms are unclear.

Tellingly, researchers contend that there is a need for trials for assessing the efficacy of drug components to that end. Further, in order for the findings to become more useful and universal, the researchers call for studies involving more diverse cohorts. Stridently, in future the search for inexpensive blood biomarkers for dementia should combine various approaches.