Anglicare, in partnership with Prof. Ralph Martins, has found the latest breakthrough in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
For the past year, residents of Anglicare have been instrumental in finding ways to detect the onset of Alzheimer’s disease prior to when symptoms appear and the damage is done, as part of the KARVIAH study.
“One of the features of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of accumulated Beta-amyloid protein in the brain, which is visible using a specialised positron emission topography (PET) imaging. Researchers have shown that even prior to the first symptoms, this protein may be accumulating up to 20 years earlier,” Associate Prof. Kathryne Goozee, Anglicare Director of Dementia and Clinical Research, explains.
“While results are still emerging, we have found two significant blood markers that may point to the onset of Alzheimer’s. One associated with the fatty acids and the other, known as Ferritin. These markers are not new. However, the correlation with the accumulating beta-amyloid protein, at a time when symptoms are not present, is highly significant.
“In the future, when you go to the doctor these blood tests may become a standard of assessment to help confirm brain health.”
For Associate Professor Goozee, the research may lead to the prevention of Alzheimer’s in the future.
“People may say that they may not wish to know if they are at risk of AD, but there is good evidence that early intervention may delay onset or even slow the progression, but timing is critical,” says Dr Goozee.
“With all diseases, prevention is the key.”
A collaborative project by Anglicare, the KaRa Institute of Neurological Diseases, NSW and the Australian Alzheimer’s Foundation, WA, the KARVIAH study offers the chance of early intervention and better understanding of the progression of Alzheimer’s.
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