Measuring levels of certain antibodies may improve diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (news – web sites), say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta. They studied leukocytes — white blood cells that are part of the immune system — in 33 Alzheimer's patients and 42 healthy people.
They found that leukocytes in Alzheimer's patients had four times higher levels of markers for amyloid-b peptide and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). The findings could help scientists develop a method for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, when treatment has the most potential to help. It could also lead to a way to identify people at risk of the disease and to the development of a new treatments.
The study results lend support to the theory that autoimmunity and resulting inflammation play a major role in Alzheimer's. The study will appear in the September issue of the Neurobiology of Aging.
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