New study identifies best tests for predicting Alzheimer's disease

Jun 30, 2010

New research has identified the memory and brain scan tests that appear to predict best whether a person with cognitive problems might develop Alzheimer's disease. The research is published in the June 30, 2010, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Memory and brain scan tests were performed on 85 people with (MCI) who were part of a larger study called the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The tests included an episodic , in which a participant must correctly recall a list of words. Blood tests were given to measure which form of the APOE gene people had, since one form of the gene is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

MRI were also used to measure the size of a participant's hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Proteins thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease, called tau or beta-amyloid, were also measured. Finally, a PET brain scan was taken to detect in the brain that might signal Alzheimer's disease.

"Each of these tests have independently shown promise in predicting , however, prior to the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, they had never been compared to one another in the same study before," said study author Susan M. Landau, PhD, with the University of California-Berkeley and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

Participants were between the ages of 55 and 90 and were followed for an average of 1.9 years. During that time, 28 of the participants developed Alzheimer's disease.

People who showed abnormal results on both PET scans and episodic tests were nearly 12 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who scored normally on both measures.

"Because people with MCI decline at different rates and some never go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, there is a need for tools that can better predict who might benefit most from treatment," said Landau. "When we compared all of the predictors, these two tests most accurately predicted who developed Alzheimer's."

Explore further: New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Education protects against pre-Alzheimer's memory loss

Oct 20, 2008

ST. PAUL, Minn. – People with more education and more mentally demanding occupations may have protection against the memory loss that precedes Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the October 21, 2008, ...

Researchers find parental dementia may lead

Feb 19, 2009

People who have parents diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or dementia perform less well on formal memory testing when compared to people of the same age whose parents never developed Alzheimer's disease or other dementia. ...

Recommended for you

'Trigger' for stress processes discovered in the brain

2 hours ago

At the Center for Brain Research at the MedUni Vienna an important factor for stress has been identified in collaboration with the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (Sweden). This is the protein secretagogin ...

New research supporting stroke rehabilitation

Nov 26, 2014

Using world-leading research methods, the team of Dr David Wright and Prof Paul Holmes, working with Dr Jacqueline Williams from the Victoria University in Melbourne, studied activity in an area of the brain ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.