Latest Study Shows Measuring Biomarkers of Inflammation May Diagnose Dementia At An Early Stage

Scientists found through a new study that blood plasma linked to inflammation could be a warning sign for developing dementia. It may low the cost for the screening of the patients. In the United States every 65 seconds, a person develops Alzheimer’s disease. According to an estimation, around 5.8 million people in the U.S. suffer from the mental disorder that affects the ones ability to think, remember, speak, relate to others and everyday performance.

Dementia becomes one of the leading causes of death the growing fast. It also led to prostate cancer and breast cancer together which becomes the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Dementia, an umbrella term that covers many of the diseased conditions under it resulting from the abnormal changes in the brain. It affects the normal cognitive ability of the person and may occur due to several potential reasons and causes.

The most common condition that results from dementia is Alzheimer’s usually followed by vascular dementia, a condition that leads to microscopic bleeding and blockage to blood vessels in the brain. Thyroid problems and vitamin deficiency are other causes that contribute to disease development.

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According to Dr. Matthew Pase from the Florey Institute for the Neurosciences and Mental Health in Melbourne that dementia is a complex disease that results from a number of causes.

In the Neurology Journal, a study was conducted to test the link between dementia and inflammatory markers in the blood (sCD14). These biomarkers give hope to scientists for paving the way in predicting dementia at the early stages.

Further Dr. Pase said that biomarkers of inflammation and neural injury in addition to the biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease may prove helpful in improving the prediction of the clinical stage of dementia.

It is very exciting for the researchers to know the potential risk of dementia at an early stage through blood-based biomarkers that are cost-effective. This paves the way for applying the interventions on the patients before the progression of the disease which may change the life of the patients.

Clinical research and practice could improve by developing cost-effective blood-based biomarkers for dementia. It permits low-cost screening at low cost and identifies the persons for prevention who are at risk.

Since when the inflammation becomes the common symptom triggered by many of the mechanisms that lead to dementia, neural inflammation biomarkers such as sCD14 are studied.

Inflammation has been the contributor to many diseases of the brain, but scientists are unable to clearly understand the role of inflammation in developing dementia.

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According to the research conducted on the lab animals indicates that sCD14 regulating the inflammatory response of the brain. Now researchers are trying to investigate its use as a biomarker for identifying the risk of dementia and cognitive decline.

From the two community-based studies new research was developed which included more than 4700 patients. The one study showed the average age for developing the disease was 69 and in the 2nd study, the age was 72. The researchers measured the plasma sCD14 level in the participant’s blood.

In the first study, the researchers performed the cognitive tests and MRI of the brain during the first year. After 7 years the 2nd round of tests was performed. The survey was also carried out for the participants of dementia over the 9-year average.

In 2nd study, the researchers performed the test related to the MRI of the brain after the 3 or 4 years of enrollment. The 2nd round of tests was performed after 5 years. The ultimate result that researchers found was when the level of sCD14 becomes high, it usually associated with brain injury, cognitive decline, and aging.

Since today no drug trials have been performed for lowering the level of sCD14 and cognitive ability. The available treatments use anti-inflammatory drugs i.e. statin

Dr. Pase hopes that measuring the level of SCD14, the extent of inflammation in the brain would be measured. Still, there is a need for further research for validating the findings over a diverse population.



Areeba Hussain

The author is a fulltime medical and healthcare writer. She graduated in Medical Microbiology and Immunology with distinction. Her areas of prime interest are medicine, medical technology, disease awareness, and research analysis. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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