Spinal fluid test may accurately predict, diagnose Alzheimer's

Share this content:

Researchers have discovered what may prove to be a 100% accurate method for early detection of Alzheimer's disease, according to a recently published report.

In their study, researchers at Ghent University, Belgium, analyzed data from more than 400 seniors. A total of 114 were cognitively normal, 200 had mild cognitive impairment and 102 had Alzheimer's disease. Without considering cognitive ability, researchers identified levels of three biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's in the participants' spinal fluid. The bio “signature” was discovered in 90% of Alzheimer's patients, 72% with cognitive impairment and 36% of those with no cognitive difficulties.

In follow-up tests, researchers confirmed the accuracy of the spinal tap test. Autopsies confirmed that 64 of 68 patients diagnosed as having Alzheimer's had the bio signature. The signature model also was 100% accurate in predicting which patients would develop Alzheimer's. The results indicate it may be possible to accurately diagnose Alzheimer's susceptibility in cognitively healthy individuals, according to the report. The full study appears in the Aug. 10 edition of the Archives of Neurology.