One of the most common types of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease – an illness that causes progressive degeneration of memory and other mental functions. It affects your ability to remember, think, and act normally. Eventually, it can interfere with the basic operations of daily life.
Imagine the possibility of being able to diagnose Alzheimer’s years in advance of its symptoms’ appearance. It can potentially open the doors to preventing or at least slowing down the disease’s progression before it causes irreversible damage to the brain or mental decline.
Biomarker For Early Identification / Detection
The current diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease majorly relies on documenting mental decline. At that point, the disease has already led to severe brain damage. Researchers have been working toward discovering an effective way to diagnose and treat it before things proceed to such a devastating level. According to experts, biomarkers, the short form for biological markers, offer one of the most promising results. A biomarker is something that can be measured accurately to understand whether or not the disease exists.
Several potential biomarkers, including fasting blood glucose levels, are being studied to understand their ability to indicate early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. The studied examples included beta-amyloid and tau levels in CSF (Cerebrospinal Fluid) and brain changes detected through imaging. Most recent research suggests that these indicators may change as the disease proceeds.
Before using a biomarker in a medical clinic, it must be validated first. It involves multiple studies among a large and diverse group of people to establish the presence of the disease reliably. Also, the laboratory method used for measuring the biomarker must be reliable and stable.
Currently, some FDA-approved tools can aid in diagnosing Alzheimer’s symptoms or other forms of dementia. In addition, some of these tools have a wealth of clinical and research data to support their clinical use. Other emerging biomarkers are promising enough but are still under examination.
NeuroImaging / Brain Imaging
These days neuroimaging has become the standard for the early detection of Alzheimer’s. However, research is still ongoing regarding advanced and new brain imaging techniques.
It has been observed that the brains of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s may shrink significantly as the disease progresses. Structural images also suggest that the specific regions of the brain, like the hippocampus, may show shrinkage – an early sign of Alzheimer’s. In addition, scientists have now agreed on a standardized value for brain volume loss, which again indicates Alzheimer’s or at least the progress of the disease.
These tests are being used to define pre-existing tissue damage associated with neurodegeneration. It also rules out other conditions that may cause symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s but require different treatments. For example, structural imaging like MRI can detect tumors, proof of a minor or a major stroke, damage due to severe head trauma, or a buildup of fluid in the brain, along with detection of underlying conditions that may restrict an individual from availing of specific treatments.
Functional imaging research suggests that those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s usually have reduced brain cell activity in certain areas. Examples include studies involving FDG (Fluorodeoxyglucose) – PET (Positron Emission Tomography) indicating the association of Alzheimer’s with reduced use of glucose (sugar) in the brain regions that are necessary for memory, learning, and problem-solving. Therefore, as per medicare recommendations, an FDG PET scan is a credible test for those who may have been recently diagnosed with dementia and documented a cognitive decline of a minimum of six months, meeting diagnostic conditions of frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The use of PET scans is among the most active research areas in the field. The objective is to find new approaches for diagnosing Alzheimer’s in the early stages. For example, molecular strategies may detect biological clues indicating the presence of Alzheimer’s much before the disease changes the brain structure and function or takes an irreversible toll on memory, reasoning, and thinking.
Molecular imaging may also offer a new strategy to monitor the progression of the disease and assess the effectiveness of next-generation, disease-modifying treatments. Several molecular imaging compounds are currently being evaluated, and a few have also been approved for clinical use.
Although the detection of amyloid plaques indicates Alzheimer’s disease, their presence alone cannot be used to diagnose it. Presently, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is based on evaluating several things. A medical expert may perform various tests to evaluate memory, go for laboratory tests or conduct a PET to determine Alzheimer’s or rule out other diseases causing similar symptoms.
Alzheimer’s Cure At Early Stage
Nonetheless, it is well established that a dietary supplement with adequate magnesium bisglycinate can help maintain normal brain health as well as overall health. Moreover, it is highly bioavailable.
Magnesium bisglycinate can help provide adequate nutrition to support brain health. Apart from that, the supplement supports overall health by contributing to different aspects of health including, bone mineral density, heart health, nerve and brain function, quality sleep, and so on.