New method for early diagnosis of Alzheimer`s disease

New Delhi: In a new development in the field of Alzheimer`s disease, scientists have devised a method that promises not only to help in early diagnosis of the debilitating condition but also improve quality of life of those affected.

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer`s disease, a brain disorder that results in memory loss and cognitive changes, allows treatment that helps slow its progression.

Dr Pravat K Mandal, additional professor (Scientist V) at the National Brain Research Centre in collaboration with AIIMS used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technique that can track an important component in the brain -- Glutathione (GSH) -- that can indicate if a person stands the risk of suffering from the disease and thus, help in early diagnosis by checking GSH level in selective brain region.

Dr Mandal said, "The study revealed that Glutathione which acts like the brain cell`s security guard is substantially very less in Alzheimer`s patients.

"Not only this, those undergoing treatment for Alzheimer`s disease can be benefited by this study to test the efficacy of any medication by monitoring GSH level using this
technique." Alzheimer`s disease affects millions of people, mostly over 55 years of age.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease usually develop slowly and gradually worsen over time, progressing from mild forgetfulness to widespread brain impairment.

As critical cells die, drastic personality loss occurs and body systems fail.

Researchers at NBRC tried detecting GSH in various brain regions of healthy men and women in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer`s disease (AD).

"We found that overall mean GSH content was found to be higher in healthy young females and males, especially more in females. GSH was distributed differently in two hemispheres among male and female subjects," Mandal said.

"In AD and MCI patients, we found a decrease in GSH levels. Statistical analysis indicated significant dearth of GSH in left frontal cortex region in female AD patients and right frontal cortex region in male AD patients."

The study was conducted on 85 participants. Dr Manjari Tripathy with Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, had aided us with all patients of AD and MCI, he said.

This research is published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications and also highlighted by Nature India.