Alzheimer's: a simple blood test to evaluate it
An American study was conducted on nearly 1600 people, about 1200 with different degrees of cognitive impairment, and 400 others in good health. The researchers took blood samples from these people and measured the presence of light neurofilaments (NFL), a marker of neuronal degeneration.
They found that the NFL level was directly related to the stage of Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, when the latter occurs and then worsens, the nerve cells are damaged. NFLs, constituents of neurons, are found in the cerebrospinal fluid and then in the blood. And as the disease gets worse, the amount of NFL in the blood increases.
Help in finding a treatment
This test would initially allow the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, in a non-invasive and simple way (rather than a lumbar puncture or an MRI of the brain). But it could also help research. By using it in parallel with a possible anti-Alzheimer drug, it would indeed facilitate the measurement of its effectiveness. However, it still needs to be validated and confirmed by other studies.
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