Protein markers could detect dementia risk ten years earlier

Some plasma proteins can be used to predict (ten years before diagnosis) the risk of dementia from any cause, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Study published today Natural aging analyzed data from 52,645 adults without dementia from the UK Biobank, compared with previous research that focused on fewer people or a small number of proteins.

A team from Shanghai University, China, identified plasma biomarkers associated with dementia prediction and examined their potential for predicting future risk of developing one of these diseases. The study lasted an average of 14 years, during which 1,417 participants were diagnosed with dementia, 833 of them in the first 10 years, the journal reports.

In addition, they analyzed 1,463 plasma proteins and found that so-called GFAP, NEFL, GDF15 and LTBP2 were consistently associated with the incidence of dementia of any cause, Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

This led the team to develop a predictive model for the risk of developing dementia over 10 years, and they confirmed that proteins such as GFAP, which were already known to be associated with these diseases, appeared to have high predictive value. in the model.

GFAP levels begin to change approximately ten years before diagnosis, raising the possibility that this plasma protein may be a potential biomarker for early risk assessment.

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