Scientists are working day and night to discover a possible indicator to detect Alzheimer early. Well, researchers from NYU School of Medicine have discovered that high cerebrospinal fluid levels of phosphorylated tau231 (P-tau231), an impaired tau protein seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, could be an early indicative biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease in fit adults.
The research seems to exhibit that elevated levels of P-tau231 may envisage forthcoming memory decline and loss of brain gray matter in the medial temporal lobe. Preceding studies appear to have discovered the medial temporal lobe to be the most susceptible brain area in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, thereby hoarding impaired tau proteins in the type of neurofibrillary tangles. Tangles are believed to be one of the signature pointers of Alzheimer’s disease apart from beta amyloid plaques.
Scientists assessed approximately 57 cognitively fit older adults and examined the associations between baseline cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers, longitudinal memory performance and longitudinal measures of the medial temporal lobe gray matter via magnetic resonance imaging. After two years, it was discovered that roughly 20 out of the 57, seem to exhibit reduced memory performance. The group with deteriorated memory appeared to have elevated baseline levels of P-tau231 and more atrophy in the medial temporal lobe. The higher P-tau231 levels is said to be linked to declines in medial temporal lobe gray matter. It was concluded that higher P-tau231 appears to envisage memory reduction as well as medial temporal lobe atrophy.
Lead author Lidia Glodzik MD, PhD, assistant research professor, Department of Psychiatry at the Center for Brain Health and Center of Excellence on Brain Aging at NYU School of Medicine, commented, “Our research results show for the first time that elevated levels of P-tau 231 in normal individuals can predict memory decline and accompanying brain atrophy. Our findings suggest that P-tau231 has the potential to be an important diagnostic tool in the pre-symptomatic stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Co-author Mony de Leon, EdD, professor, Department of Psychiatry, and director of the Center for Brain Health at the Center of Excellence on Brain Aging at NYU School of Medicine and research scientist at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, remarked, “Indentifying people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease is the necessary first step in developing preventive therapies.”
The researcher mentioned that this research shows that Alzheimer’s disease pathology may be recognized in the normal stages of cognition. This observation may be of value in future studies investigating mechanisms that cause or accelerate dementia.
The study was published in Neurobiology of Aging.