The fact that the population in Spain is aging rapidly pushes us to face new health challenges in the future. One of the most concerning is the inevitable increase in cases of dementia. And, in particular, the dangerous Alzheimer’s disease, which still has no solution. As reported by the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), approximately 40,000 new cases are diagnosed every year in our country.
Furthermore, they warn that 80% of mild cases go unnoticed and undiagnosed. Now, the Spanish Confederation of Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias expects even worse outcomes in the coming years. According to this unit, the total number of people living together In our country, this disease may triple by the year 2050 and affect 36 lakh people. Fortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most researched diseases in the world today.
Although the disease remains a mystery, many steps have been taken toward its solution in recent years. The last of them occurred this Monday with the publication of a study in the scientific journal Nature aging. This work keeps him Plasma proteins may predict our risk of developing dementia By all accounts, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia occur up to ten years before these conditions occur.
Although this is not the first time that these proteins have been linked to the prediction of dementia in healthy adults, previous studies had some shortcomings. Many have focused on only one or a small group of plasma proteins or not at all. A study population as broad as the UK Biobank. These studies also ignored how these proteins might predict these diseases over a period of up to a decade.
The work conducted by the scientific team of researchers Jin-Tai Yu, Jian-Fang Feng, Wei Cheng involved the study of the proteome of the United Kingdom Biobank, Reaching 52,645 participants without dementia. The goal was to identify biomarkers in plasma and determine their ability to predict different types of dementia. Of the entire participating population, 1,417 people were diagnosed with one of these diseases over a period of about 14 years.
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Of the 1,463 plasma proteins analyzed, the authors found four that were consistently associated with all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and vascular dementia. These plasma proteins are named GFAP, NEFL, GDF15 and LTBP2. Once this data was taken, scientists developed a model that would allow them to predict these diseases over a period of ten years.
Thus they discovered that proteins, such as GFAP, which were already known to be associated with dementia, had a high predictive value. The authors also shed light on GFAP levels begin to change as early as 10 years before diagnosis. This makes it possible for GFAP to become a biomarker for early risk assessment in the future. In any case, the study authors caution that the research has not yet been validated in an external and independent group.