Spinal taps uncover Alzheimer's, study says

Share this article:

Scientists might one day be able to identify people in the early stages of Alzheimer's through their cerebrospinal fluid.



Abnormal levels of molecules in the fluid — b-amyloid, total tau and phosphorylated-tau — predicted development of Alzheimer's with accuracy, according to a recent study by Swedish neurologists. The findings were published in Monday's online edition of Lancet Neurology.

The study followed 180 people over four to five years. Combined molecule measurements at the start of the study identified those who developed Alzheimer's with better than 90% accuracy.

While the Swedish study offers key information, spinal taps to collect cerebrospinal fluid are not easily done in routine medical practice, according to Dr. John Morris, a professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Other possible downsides to the test are the cost of the spinal tap and patient resistance to the invasive procedure.
Share this article:

More in News

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest ...

Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to ...

PharMerica to pay $200,000 settlement over federal charges of unsafe dispensing practices

Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica has agreed to pay about $213,000 to settle charges that it dispensed medications without prescriptions and committed other breaches of the Controlled Substances Act, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Shortchanging the Older Americans Act has led to unnecessary nursing home placements, ...

Chronic underfunding of the Older Americans Act is leading to unnecessary long-term care facility admissions, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and 26 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate said in a recent letter to Appropriations Committee leaders.