Nasal spray could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease
Published 16 October 2012
A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) probe could lead to a test for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease according to findings presented at Neuroscience 2012 conference in New Orleans.
A new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) probe could lead to a test for early detection of Alzheimer's disease according to findings presented at Neuroscience 2012 conference in New Orleans. The nanotechnology-based brain imaging probe targets toxins in the brain which appear early in the course of Alzheimer's disease and may be responsible for initiating memory loss in Alzheimer's. The probe uses antibodies that bind strongly and specifically to the toxins. The antibodies are fused with magnetic particles so that they show up in MRI scans.
So far research has been successful in rodent and laboratory studies and could lead to research on humans. The researchers are designing a way to deliver the antibody probe to people via a nasal spray. The work was reported by lead author William Klein, PhD, of Northwestern University.
Alzheimer's Society comment:
'These results are promising. However this is very early days and lots more research will need to be carried out before we can say if these findings have any benefits for humans.
'Only 43 per cent of the 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK have received a formal diagnosis. Early diagnosis is essential in order for people to be able to start planning for the future and access valuable support and treatments. We must therefore continue to fund research which could help us develop non-intrusive, affordable diagnostic tools. In March, David Cameron committed to doubling funding for dementia research. We must now ensure this money helps improve the lives of people living with the condition today and takes us towards a cure for tomorrow.'
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