Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 11th 2014 Contents A26
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, March 11, 2014
PARIS---Researchers in the United States say they
have developed a prototype blood test that can tell
with 90-per cent accuracy whether a healthy person
will develop Alzheimer s disease within three years.
The test looks for 10 signatures of fatty proteins
called lipids, according to a study published on Sunday
in the journal Nature Medicine.
It could help families of people developing the cog-
nitive disorder make early decisions on how best to
care for them and may also aid the search for treat-
ment, the authors said.
Several years of clinical trials are likely to be needed
to assess the prototype technique, the first blood
"biomarker" to predict the tragic degenerative dis-
Alzheimer s, caused by toxic proteins that destroy
brain cells, is a currently incurable and fatal degen-
Around 35 million people have the disease, a tally
that is expected to reach 115 million people by 2050,
according to the World Health Organization.
Fact file on Alzheimer's disease
Fact file on Alzheimer s disease (AFP Photo/)
"Our novel blood test offers the potential to identify
people at risk for progressive cognitive decline and
can change how patients, their families and treating
physicians plan for and manage the disorder," said
Howard Federoff, a professor of neurology at George-
town University Medical Center in Washington.
It could also help efforts to treat the disease, he
said in a press release.
Attempts to develop drugs for Alzheimer s have
failed possibly because they are tested when the
disease has progressed too far, Federoff said.
These treatments may have a better chance of
Study: Blood test can predict Alzheimer's
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
braking or reversing the disease if they are trialled at
a much earlier stage, he said.
The researchers started by taking blood samples from
525 healthy volunteers aged 70 and older.
Three years later, they looked at a group of 53 volunteers
who had developed symptoms of early Alzheimer s or
a memory-affecting condition known as amnestic mild
cognitive impairment (aMCI).
The blood samples from this group were compared
against the samples from 53 otherwise healthy volunteers
to see what the difference was.
From this, the scientists spotted the 10 telltale lipid
proteins, which appear to be metabolised residues of
brain cell membranes. (AFP)
Alzheimer's, caused by
toxic proteins that destroy
brain cells, is a currently
incurable and fatal
Short-term problems like stomach bugs can
interrupt your regular routine. Bacteria, which
can cause anything from a mildly upset stomach
to a serious case of e.coli, may not be 100 per
cent possible to avoid, but you can take preven-
Minimise your risk of getting a stomach bug or
flu virus by making an effort to follow the tips
While you don t need to wipe down everything
with an anti-bacterial cleanser, make a conscious
effort to wash your hands throughout the day, like
after going to the bathroom and before and after
Get some LCD screen wipes to clean off your
smartphone: the British watchdog group Which?
found the dirtiest smartphone to be seven times
dirtier than the dirtiest toilet after researching the
hygiene of tablets, keyboards, smartphones and
Store food properly, such as in the fridge, as
soon as you get to work, and re-heat items thor-
oughly to minimise colonising bacteria. The FDA
says to reheat leftovers to about 165 degrees, and
bring leftovers like gravy and sauces to a boil.
When using a microwave to heat food, check
for cold spots---those areas can harbour bacteria.
Mix the food or rotate its tray and heat until there
are no cold spots.
Keep up to date with vaccinations.
If you do get sick, do not take antibiotics without
first consulting a doctor. Taking unnecessary antibi-
otics could lead to antibiotic-resistant bacterial
infections in the future, according to the US Center
for Disease Control (CDC). And no one wants to
be infected by our oncoming antibiotic-resistant
bacterial overlords. (Main Street)
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