Scientists Find Early Marker for Detecting Dementia
A team of medical researchers in the UK and Australia have identified a biomarker that could help diagnose dementia much earlier and lead to early treatment of the illness even before the patient develops symptoms.
The researchers investigated the role of a substance called asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), a blood marker that is linked with cardiovascular disease, in assessing the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Evaluating dementia had always focused on the presence of symptoms and the typical changes seen in the brain. This study reveals that blood ADMA levels measures in individuals aged 63 and above was associated with a decline in cognitive function after four years.
The study concludes that ADMA, which is a strong marker of atherosclerosis (fat plaques in arteries causing heart attack and strokes) and heart disease, could be used as an early indicator of cognitive decline in the elderly.
The researchers, however, suggest that a large-scale testing may be necessary to establish this association.