Putting Alzheimer’s on early notice

Jul 16, 2010
Putting Alzheimer’s on early notice
In vivo imaging of amyloid-beta plaques and brain atrophy of a healthy elderly person (left) compared to an Alzheimer's disease patient (right). (CSIRO)

Australian scientists have presented key findings at an international Alzheimer's disease conference this week. Their major focus is on early detection and discovering why the disease progresses.

The International Conference on in Hawaii heard that scientists from the Australian Imaging Biomarkers and Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL) have identified advances in imaging and blood screening that will contribute to the earlier detection of Alzheimer’s.

About 250,000 Australians currently have Alzheimer’s disease, but numbers are anticipated to rise to 1.3 million in the next 40 years if there were not significant breakthroughs in prevention and treatment of the disease.

The national collaborative approach taken by AIBL scientists was initiated by CSIRO’s Preventative Health National Research Flagship on Alzheimer’s prevention research and has resulted in 22 research papers being accepted and presented at the conference.

The director of CSIRO’s Preventative Health Flagship, Professor Richard Head, said many of the major contributions presented at the conference were only made possible through the national collaboration of scientists from a wide range of disciplines across Australia.

"This collaboration has provided critical expertise and capability at a size necessary to enable us to understand early identification of the disease and the contributing factors to its progression," Professor Head said. 

"The advancement in our research would not have been as strong or as rapid were it not for the broad range of expertise brought together by this collaboration."

The level of recognition from the world’s leading forum on research confirms the success of the initiative, he said.

Professor Head said the AIBL research has combined advanced neuroimaging, cognitive performance studies, blood screening and lifestyle studies to start identifying early indicators of the disease.

"The imaging component alone has potentially brought forward the detection of Alzheimer's disease by 18 months," he said.

Explore further: Philippines boosts MERS monitoring after UAE nurse scare

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Advance towards early Alzheimer's diagnosis

Jun 18, 2008

The leader of the team that made the discovery, Professor Christopher Rowe of the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, says early diagnosis and treatment presents medical practitioners with the best opportunity to delay the onset ...

Alzheimer's disease to quadruple worldwide by 2050

Jun 10, 2007

More than 26 million people worldwide were estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers also concluded ...

Advance in bowel cancer test research

Jun 04, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Australian researchers have developed gene expression biomarkers which can accurately discriminate pre-cancerous and cancerous colorectal growths from non-cancerous controls.

Study finds certain drugs cut Alzheimer's

Dec 06, 2006

U.S. scientists say they've identified anti-hypertensive agents that can prevent cognitive decline and amyloid neuropathology in Alzheimer patients.

Recommended for you

US orders farms to report pig virus infections

18 hours ago

The U.S. government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the country last year.

Foreigner dies of MERS in Saudi

19 hours ago

A foreigner has died after she contracted MERS in the Saudi capital, the health ministry said on announced Friday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 73.

Vietnam battles fatal measles outbreak

22 hours ago

Vietnam is scrambling to contain a deadly outbreak of measles that has killed more than 100 people, mostly young children, and infected thousands more this year, the government said Friday.

New clues on tissue scarring in scleroderma

23 hours ago

A discovery by Northwestern Medicine scientists could lead to potential new treatments for breaking the cycle of tissue scarring in people with scleroderma.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.