ZARAGOZA, Spain, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Alzheimer researchers in Spain
have taken a step closer to finding a blood test to help in the
diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.
With approximately 75% of the estimated 36 million Alzheimer's sufferers
worldwide yet to receive a reliable diagnosis, the potential impact on
the lives of possible sufferers, present and future, could be huge.
Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease most frequently
affecting the elderly. The most commonly associated symptom is a
progressive loss of memory to the stage in which the patient is
completely dependent on caregivers for their daily needs. There is a
large amount of research supporting the theory that a group of peptides
called beta amyloid (Aβ), which are found naturally in the body, are
major contributors to Alzheimer's disease. Through a process, so far
unclear to science, there is a build up of these peptides in the brain
that over a period of years cause memory complaints and other symptoms
associated with the disease.
Professor Manuel Sarasa, CSO and founder of Spanish research company
Araclon Biotech, and his team have been perfecting blood tests
"ABtest40" and "ABtest42" to measure the very small amounts of these
peptides in the blood.
"The study has shown that our tests for Aβ in blood find a high level of
association between the peptide levels and the disease when comparing
healthy people and people with mild cognitive impairment," ((MCI) the
earliest noticeable stages of memory loss.)
"By measuring three different levels in blood, free in plasma, bound to
plasma components and bound to blood cells, for two of the most
significant peptides, Aβ40 and Aβ42, then comparing the ratios of
those levels to established diagnoses methods, we have been able to
consistently show a relationship between Aβ levels and the disease," he
"This means that we, and by `we' I mean Alzheimer's' researchers in
general, are that much closer to having a reliable, minimally invasive
biomarker for Alzheimer's disease," Professor Sarasa says. "The
importance of this is that studies could recruit earlier and at much
less expense. Interventional therapies can be tested in earlier stages
of the disease and once an effective therapy is found, this type of
test will be well suited to population screening in the public health
The results of this work are being published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 36(3) in July.
Professor Sarasa said there is already a larger multinational study
underway with 255 patients and his Zaragoza-based firm, a part of the
Grifols group of companies, is also looking to confirm these results
with other similar groups of patients around the world.
ABOUT ARACLON BIOTECH SL
Araclon, a Grifols company, (http://www.araclon.com ) was founded in 2004 by Prof. Manuel Sarasa in Zaragoza, Spain. A
company dedicated to both the early detection and treatment of
ABOUT THE JOURNAL OF ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE (JAD)
The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (http://www.j-alz.com) is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress
in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics,
behavior, treatment and psychology of Alzheimer's disease. The Journal
is published by IOS Press (http://www.iospress.com).
SOURCE: Araclon Biotech
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