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Researchers Discover Uncharted Territory in Pre-Clinical Alzheimer's
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 2:53 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: ABC News) - Researchers from the Mayo Clinic report that among cognitively normal older adults there is a potentially large population who occupy an uncharted territory. Their biomarker results are neither normal, nor clearly abnormal. Dr. David Knopman, the investigator who presented the results, admitted that he and his colleagues "hadn't expected to encounter this result."

The Mayo Clinic researchers focused on proposed biomarkers of preclinical Alzheimer's disease, symptoms of individuals who are outwardly normal, but who have the amyloid plaques seen in Alzheimer's disease.


One of the biomarkers involves MRI images that show parts of the brain that are atrophied (shrunken). The other set of biomarkers involves two kinds of PET images - one that measures brain metabolism and the other measures amyloid plaques, which are dense deposits of protein characterizing Alzheimer's pathology.


The scientists are convinced that discovering Alzheimer's biomarkers is the key to transforming the diagnosis. They hope these advances will lead to a continuum allowing physicians to diagnose the disease even before a person is ill simply by measuring the presence of "biomarker signatures."


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