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“16yo Teen Discovered Early Detection of Alzheimer’s (even at young age) Using a Lemon Peel”
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 12:43 PM
Joined: 3/25/2019
Posts: 6

Hi. My daughter's science fair project this year was about early detection of Alzheimer's, which had a positive result and hypothesis was correct. She tested on 51 volunteer healthy subjects, she did MoCA in all of these subjects (which was usually only psychiatrists and psychologists can do). Her results was outstanding - the percentage of subjects identified between normal and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are not far from each other - meaning so many people age 40, 50, 60 are being identified has the risks of getting Alzheimer's few years later. She even found a 19yo and a 37yo with pre-MCI (a cognition stage that she is trying to discover on this project). The goal aside from detecting Alzheimer's at an early stage or age, is hoping that it can be slowed down the progression or even STOP the disease process (by avoiding drugs, foods that increase its risk, or simply starting a medication for Alzheimer's). Last year, her project was early detection of depression using the lemon peels also, but this year she wanted to explore a bigger disease - Alzheimer's. But no one is much interest about my daughter's findings because in my community, maybe, Alzheimer's is not  that big a deal for them. But for us who had relatives, and friends, with Alzheimer's, it is a big deal!

I am hoping that someone can help me and my daughter get this 'discovery' by a young teen age girl across the world. My regional science fair SNUBBED her project, when I was calling our local paper and TV new stations for potential getting this message across, NO ONE REALLY SEEMS to care. So someon, at least from the TV station said to contact ALZ and people from there will probably appreciate my daughter's hard work and dedication to somehow, detect the disease early because EARLY DETECTION MATTERS!

My daughter worked so hard on this, hope she can get interviewed maybe by... Good Morning America? LOL



Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019 1:00 PM
Joined: 3/25/2019
Posts: 6

I think I should also add, that based on her study, 1 subject identified as pre-MCI was exposed to ADD/ADHD drugs. So, the study will also has the potential in telling the world, unless warned earlier, exposing our children with ADD/ADHD medications should weigh the benefits versus the long-term side effects of getting Alzheimer's. Another thing, people that are taking chronic allergy pills can also put them at risk for early-onset or early-age Alzheimer's. We normally ignore our forgetfulness as signs, because at young age, we're still highly functional with work and school and raising a family - but Alzheimer's is there and we're not even addressing it until the BOTHERSOME symptoms appear - then it's too late!



Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8:28 AM
Joined: 3/27/2019
Posts: 4

Great info. Thanks for posting.


Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8:54 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18952

I would post this under clinical trial.
Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 3:55 PM
Joined: 3/25/2019
Posts: 6

I didn't realize that Alzheimer's still don't impact a lot of people - as a testimony to my daughter's Science Fair that the judges rather chose projects such as "How Music Affect the Heart Rate", "Finding Out What's Stressing Teens in High School", and other similar non-breakthroughs quality projects. I told my daughter, win or lose, her project had shown SOMETHING BIG THAT THE WORLD SHOULD KNOW - that Alzheimer's can be detected at a very young age, even in TEEN YEARS. We do not assess for cognition in the doctor's appointment unless the patients are over 65, or presenting some bizarre behaviors. But why wait when controlling the Alzheimer's CAN REALLY BE IN OUR HANDS!!!!! 


Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2019 4:14 PM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2328

That's quite a science project; no wonder you are proud. It's great to see young women engaged in STEM projects. 

I wonder if the judges were concerned about a 16 year old high school student administering MoCA, a tool which is intended to be used by clinicians as per their instructions. The other projects sound great, too. It's interesting how many of us turn to music to relieve anxiety and boredom for our LOs with dementia. 

I have a problem with the conclusion you are suggesting around the use of ADHD medications. I assume you aren't discussing Strattera, Kapvay or Intunive but are referencing the psychostimulants- Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, etc. Obviously, one participant in a study of 51 individuals conducted by a teenager "exposed to ADD/ADHD drugs" is not really a trend. Especially given that these medications have been prescribed in some form since the early 1940s; were there an association it would likely have been noted by this point. 

That said, one commonality to dementia/MCI and ADHD are deficits in the area of executive function so it might make sense that a person how has ADHD would be flagged on MoCA for deficits in this area. Or perhaps people with ADHD are more likely as a group to develop dementia as, say, people with Downs Syndrome are.
Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 11:02 AM
Joined: 12/10/2011
Posts: 287


Another smell test Predates your daughter's

The olfactory system has self-generating stem cells and the researchers suggest that perhaps loss of sense of smell is an early sign that the brain is losing its ability to self-repair. Loss of sense of smell is often an early indicator of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

In the new study, a "nationally representative sample" of 2,906 men and women aged between 57 and 85 underwent home interviews and completed a simple smell test.

For the "validated five-item test," they had to identify five odors, one at hey had to identify five odors, one at a time, by sniffing a device similar to a felt-tip pen. Each time, they were given four choices, from which they had to pick out the correct one.

The five different odors were: peppermint, fish, orange, rose, and leather, with peppermint being the easiest, and leather the hardest, to identify.

The researchers found that the vast majority of participants were able to correctly identify at least 4 out of 5 odors. Of the rest, 7 percent identified 2 or 3 out of 5 smells, 2.2 percent identified just one, and 1 percent could not identify any of them.

After 5 years, the participants were interviewed again to find out if they had been diagnosed with dementia. A proxy stood in if the participant was too sick to be interviewed or had died during the follow-up.

The team analyzed the results of the smell test against the follow-up information, adjusting them to rule out any effects from age, sex, race, ethnicity, education, other illnesses, and level of cognition at study baseline.

They found that the participants who had not been able to identify at least 4 out of the 5 odors at baseline were more than twice as likely to be among those who had developed dementia during the 5-year follow-up.

They also found that the lower the number of odors correctly detected at baseline, the higher the chances of dementia being diagnosed during the follow-up period.

On the findings, Prof. Pinto says, "We think a decline in the ability to smell, specifically, but also sensory function more broadly, may be an important early sign, marking people at greater risk for dementia."

In a linked editorial, Dr. Stephen Thielke - from the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle - acknowledges that problems with sense of smell may be "easier to quantify across time than global cognition," and that this could make it easier to assess early decline in the brain.

However, Dr. Thielke also notes that this does not mean that "smell testing would be a useful tool for predicting the onset of dementia."

Prof. Pinto accepts this point, noting, "Our test simply marks someone for closer attention." He and his colleagues say that more work is now needed to turn the test into one that can be used in clinical practice.

Nevertheless, he believes that the test could help to find patients who might be at higher risk for dementia, who can then be put forward for trials of treatments to prevent dementia in the early stages.

Nevertheless, he believes that the test could help to find patients who might be at higher risk for dementia, who can then be put forward for trials of treatments to prevent dementia in the early stages.


Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 2:02 PM
Joined: 1/23/2017
Posts: 1219

Interesting. Barbara was telling me that her food had no taste for a few years before she was diagnosed with dementia. I can see where this might help with early detection, but even if it does, we still need to be able to do something with it.

Besides just girding our loins for the upcoming battle, that is.

Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:10 AM
Joined: 3/25/2019
Posts: 6

Wow that's interesting - thanks for sharing.