Australian and British researchers have found a new blood marker that they believe could offer hope in predicting and treating dementia.
A study from Flinders University and the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, published in International journal of geriatric psychiatry he looked at a marker found in the blood and known as ADMA.
ADMA, first identified about 20 years ago, is a naturally produced chemical, but high levels are associated with cardiovascular disease.
“So, because of the relationship between cardiovascular disease and dementia, and because of the link between ADMA and cardiovascular disease, we thought we could investigate whether by measuring this chemical in the blood as a proxy for cardiovascular risk we could also theoretically predict if you are more likely to change your cognitive function over time, “said Professor Arduino Mangoni, head of clinical pharmacology at Flinders University Review of Community assistance.
The researchers looked at ADMA levels in a group of 90 subjects at the age of 63 and compared it to cognitive performance after four years.
“We measured ADMA levels by the time they were 63 and were able to determine that those who had higher ADMA in their blood at that age were more like a memory decline in the following four years,” he said. said.
“Our results need to be interpreted with caution and we need more studies, but they seem to suggest that by measuring this chemical in the blood it is theoretically possible to predict whether dementia will develop,” he said.
The results also offer hope for potential new treatments.
“Even more exciting is that we also have potential treatments that have been tested in the laboratory or on animals that can reduce ADMA levels in the blood,” said Professor Mangoni.
“So the challenges for the future would be to see that if you assign a drug that lowers ADMA levels, it can also be helpful in preventing dementia or improving memory.”
Hearing loss can lead to incorrect diagnoses
Meanwhile, a separate study by Dr. Christian Fullgrabe of Loughborough University in the UK suggests that age-related hearing loss may lead to incorrect diagnoses of dementia.
Dr Fullgrabe said this is due to the fact that many cognitive screening tests use auditory methods to test memory recall, and many people suspected of cognitive decline were older and are more likely to suffer from age-related hearing loss. .
He said his research conclusively showed that memory was worse when subjects simulated hearing problems.
The results are “clear evidence that the presentation format of the cognitive test can affect the performance of the test,” said Dr. Fullgrabe.
He said he hoped the research encouraged doctors to consider their patients’ hearing when giving tests in the future.
The research is published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.
Main image: Professor Mangoni (right) at work in his research laboratory (image provided by Flinders University).
This story appeared orally on Community Care Review
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