Will you lose your memory in 3 years? Here’s how to tell
November 27th, 2015 by NHI
Researchers recently proclaimed a huge breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease …
They identified a period that occurs from two to six years before symptoms become noticeable, but when the disease has already begun to break down brain tissue.
This crucial discovery completely changes how medical researchers think about fighting Alzheimer’s disease. . .
Continued Below. . .
This “Forbidden” Food
Instead of trying to reverse brain degradation, heal brain tissue, and restore memory loss — a nearly impossible task — they “only” have to find out how to slow or reverse the disease before it does any real damage to the brain.
But the only way to take advantage of this critical time period is to first have an accurate and accessible tool for early diagnosis.
For decades, that’s been easier said than done …
But a number of different groups of researchers around the world believe they’ve found a simple, accurate, inexpensive and relatively painless test that can predict Alzheimer’s disease up to six years before the onset of symptoms.
If it works, the test could change everything … and give patients a long head start in fighting their prognosis.
The Notorious ALZ
For decades since the discovery of Alzheimer’s disease, the only way to make an official diagnosis was during post-mortem autopsy.
Today, doctors have a few better options, including expensive “inflammaging” scans of amyloid build-ups in the brain, time-consuming PET brain scans, or painful lumbar punctures.
Despite their expense, these tests are still wrong a third of the time … leading to totally unnecessary patient panic, incorrect treatments, and skewed clinical trial data.1
That’s why researchers from universities and private companies around the world, from Australia to San Diego to London, have all been working to find a test that can accurately predict if someone will develop dementia, or make the transition from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to Alzheimer’s disease.
It seems like when it rains, it pours. After years of searching, multiple unrelated research groups have all successfully designed simple, inexpensive, and mostly painless Alzheimer’s blood tests that are 90% accurate.
Two Blood Tests Predict Alzheimer’s
With 87% – 90% Accuracy
A group of British scientists studied blood samples from nearly 1200 patients, sifting through thousands of different proteins in the blood to see which markers were actually relevant.
They were finally able to narrow the list down to a combination of ten specific proteins that could predict whether individuals would progress from MCI to Alzheimer’s within one year … with 87% accuracy.1
American researchers at Georgetown University were after a similar goal, but instead of using proteins as biomarkers, they used fats.
Dr. Howard J. Federoff and his team analyzed blood samples from more than 500 different participants over 70 years old, once a year, for five years.
They then took the data of 53 participant’s samples who developed MCI or Alzheimer’s and compared it with 53 who remained healthy.
The researchers found ten different phospholipids that were lower in participants who went on to develop dementia. (Phospholipids are fat molecules that create a double-layered wall around cells. They protect the cell and are important in supporting, regulating, producing and maintaining neurons.)
The presence of these lipids in the blood indicates degenerative disease … and that the membranes of brain cells have begun to break down. According to Dr. Federoff, it marks “the transition between preclinical states where synaptic dysfunction and early neurodegeneration give rise to subtle cognitive changes.”
And it can distinguish with up to 90% accuracy who will progress to MCI or Alzheimer’s within two to three years — and those who will remain cognitively normal in the near future.2,3
Though both the British and American teams say more research is needed to confirm the findings, it’s clear we’re on the verge of having a simple, inexpensive blood test for predicting Alzheimer’s disease on a mass scale.
The science is still new, but if you’re concerned about Alzheimer’s in yourself or a loved one, you might be able to request one or both tests from your doctor today. The research is published and available for laboratory use.
Advance Notice Gives You Time to Change Your Habits
As you can see, a blood test like this is incredibly exciting.
As a Natural Health Insiders reader, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips about effective supplements, diet, lifestyle and exercise changes that have all been linked to better brain health and a lower probability of memory loss.
You can access the archive of back issues here
It’s a treasure-trove of ideas for boosting memory and brain health.
I wouldn’t wait for some blood test before putting this information to work. But I understand that some people need a good scare to motivate them.
For people who won’t take action until a test flashes a warning signal that their memory will fail in two or three years – it may soon be available at your doctor’s office.
I’ll keep you up to date as the tests become more widely available.