A Vancouver company, Aurin Biotech, has developed a saliva test that can diagnose Alzheimer disease, as well as predict its future onset, allowing individuals to take preventive measures before the disease takes hold.
The test is based on measuring the concentration of amyloid beta protein 42 (Abeta42) secreted in saliva. Abeta42 is the material that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer disease cases and causes neuroinflammation, which kills brain neurons. While Abeta42 is made at a constant rate by every organ of the body, it is the brain that decompensates late in life. This allows Abeta42 to precipitate, with consequent development of Alzheimer disease.
The study appears to show that nature tightly controls Abeta42 production in every organ of the body and keeps it at the same production rate throughout life. In normal individuals, this rate is almost exactly the same regardless of sex or age. However, for those destined to develop Alzheimer disease the rate varies, but is two to three times higher.
Researchers acknowledged that the number of cases studied is small, but felt the results were important and should be made widely available, noting that if individuals know they are destined to develop Alzheimer disease, they can initiate preventive measures that may spare them from the disease if commenced well before the age of onset.
The related article, “A method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease based on salivary amyloid-ß protein 42 levels,” was published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease. The article is available online at http://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad160748. Aurin Biotech is a private, early-stage Vancouver company developing agents for the treatment of Alzheimer disease and other chronic degenerative diseases.
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