Great news for people with Alzheimer’s disease was brought by way of a new study showing that a person’s saliva may be able to tell if the person is at risk of getting this disease.
Alzheimer’s is Difficult to Detect
Diagnosing a person with Alzheimer’s is far from being easy. First of all, a medical history is necessary, followed by both physical as well as neurological exams. Furthermore, brain imaging and blood tests must be done in order to complete the results and be able to detect if the disease is present.
Specialists are trying to find better ways to identify Alzheimer’s before it is too late for the patient. But the biggest problem is that this disease is difficult to recognize, even when fully developed.
Saliva – a Tool to Recognize Alzheimer’s
On Sunday, during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C a new study was presented. In accordance with the researchers responsible for this study, saliva may be used as a diagnostic tool in order to discover early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers at Canada’s University of Alberta tested samples from 22 Alzheimer’s disease patients, 25 people with cognitive impairment and 35 people with normal mental capacities.
According to the results of this recent study, it seems that Alzheimer’s patients had an impressive amount of metabolites in their saliva, compared to the rest of people. This substance may help doctors find out if a person has Alzheimer’s, without waiting for the memory loss symptoms to appear.
An Important Step Towards Detecting Alzheimer’s
The lead author of the study Shraddha Sapkota considers that using saliva to detect Alzheimer’s in a person is an amazing discovery that offers a simple, as well as non-invasive manner that can confirm the diagnosis. However, the research is at an early stage and it has not been probed in by other studies, yet.
According to the authors of this study, the next step is to validate the results with larger studies that will allow them to find out if similar results exist, and if the same metabolites or biomarkers will be identified in a higher number of people. So, there are some gaps in the evidence, but this is still an important step towards the ability to detect Alzheimer’s early.