Can a blood test help detect Alzheimer's disease?


According to research carried out by Conicet and the Instituto Leloir Foundation (IDF), a blood test may help detect early Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative disease that suffers more than half a million Argentines.

Different experimental demonstrations in patients and animal models of this pathology suggest that, in the affected brain, glucose consumption, an essential source of energy for neurons, is reduced. The scientists came to the conclusion that this change can be detected in platelets, one of the blood components that are responsible for the coagulation and repair of vessels.

"Platelets may reflect energy deficits and processes of inflammatory and oxidative stress that occur in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease"said Dr. Laura Morelli, study director and member of the Laboratory of Amyloidosis and Neurodegeneration at FIL.

"What we did in the lab was to isolate blood platelets (in rats) and to determine the ability of mitochondria to consume oxygen and generate energy." We compared two groups of animals, one healthy and one diseased, and we saw that in the last year a group of mitochondria worked less, "explained the professional in dialogue with the agency Telam.

"These results the use of platelets as indicators of cerebral energetic function. This determination would help to peripherally reflect something that is happening at the central level of the body, and this added to other specific analyzes. could define an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease"Morelli revealed.

Finally, the doctor mentioned whether in the near future this pioneering examination could be turned into a routine analysis in people: "In general, everything that does the heart well is also good for the brain, but reality is what there is still no specific treatment or drug for Alzheimer's disease, then we focus on improving the patient's quality of life. Still it is lacking for this study to become a routine analysis, but it is very important to discover biomarkers or indicators that allow us to address Alzheimer's disease in humans over time. "

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