Signs of dementia are in the blood and can be found, study points out

In a new study, scientists in Japan were able to identify markers that are associated with dementia in the blood. According to research from the Universities of Okinawa and Kyoto, the levels of 1024 metabolites differed between patients with dementia and healthy people in the same age group. In the future, the discovery should help to treat this condition.

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It is worth remembering that dementia is not a single disease, but a term used to describe a set of symptoms, including a slow and usually irreversible decline in memory and the ability to make decisions or perform routine activities. Of all the diseases associated with aging, dementia is one of the most serious. Worldwide, about 124 millions live with this condition.

Japanese research identifies 33 possible markers of dementia (Image: Reproduction/iLexx/envato)

Today, science knows that dementia is caused by damage to the nerves of individuals, but the exact cause of this damage and the methods how it can be detected and treated remains a mystery. In this scenario, the initial discovery of Japanese researchers may indicate a new direction for treatment.

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After all, what are metabolites?

Published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study identified altered levels of 26 metabolites in patients with dementia. It is important to understand that “metabolites are chemicals produced by vital chemical reactions that occur within cells and tissues,” explained study author Takayuki Teruya. as we age and develop diseases such as dementia, these levels can fluctuate and change”, completed Teruya.

In other words, metabolites are products of metabolism (chemical reactions of the organism) of the most diverse In this process, the product of these reactions can change and, somehow, they differ in people with dementia.

Study methodology

In the study, the researchers analyzed blood samples collected from eight elderly patients with dementia and others healthy individuals, 8 elderly and 8 young — the latter group served as a reference. , the levels were measured. there are 124 different metabolites in the blood.

In total, 33 metabolites, divided into 5 different subgroups, were related to dementia. According to the study authors, seven of these compounds increased in patients with the disease, while 26 of these compounds showed a decrease in levels. Until then, 20 of the compounds had never been previously associated with dementia. “The identification of these compounds means that we are one step closer to being able to molecularly diagnose dementia,” said another study author, Mitsuhiro Yanagida.

Complete research on the signs of dementia in the blood, published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), can be accessed here.

Source: Science Blog

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