Researchers identify `biomarker` protein to help diagnose Alzheimer’s
Washington – Researchers have identified six proteins in spinal fluid that can be used as markers for the illness.
Katarina Kagedal, reader in Experimental Pathology at Linkoping University, said that in victims of Alzheimer’s, something happens to the lysosomes so that they can’t manage to take care of the surplus of beta amyloid.
She said that they fill up with junk that normally is broken down into its component parts and recycled.
The researchers’ hypothesis was that these changes in the brain’s lysosomal network could be reflected in the spinal fluid, which surrounds the brain’s various parts and drains down into the spinal column.
They studied samples of spinal marrow from 20 Alzheimer’s patients and an equal number of healthy control subjects. The screening was aimed at 35 proteins that are associated with the lysosomal network.
Kagedal said that that six of these had clearly increased in the patients; none of them were previously known as markers for Alzheimer’s.
The study was conducted on 20 anonymised, archived spinal marrow samples and the results were confirmed afterwards on an independent range of samples of equal size.
The story has been published in Neuromolecular Medicine.