The researcher analyzes the human brain with Alzheimer's disease. EFE / Fernando Alvarado
The results of the study, led by doctors Jose Luis Molinuvu and Juan Domingo Guizpert, were published in the journal Alzheimer's research and therapy and they were possible thanks to the data derived from the Alfa Study, promoted by "La Caixa".
"The new value we have established will allow detection of people who are at a very early stage of abnormal accumulation of amyloid protein, and offer them the opportunity to participate in preventive research programs to reduce the risk of developing dementia in the future, "explained Geсперt, head of the BBCC Neuroscience Management Group.
The accumulation in the brain of beta-amyloid protein plates is one of the most characteristic neurodegenerative lesions of Alzheimer's disease.
Accumulation 20 years before symptoms
These plaques can begin to accumulate up to 20 years before the onset of clinical symptoms of the disease due to various risk factors due to age, genomics, nutrition, exercise, cardiovascular health and cognitive activity, among others.
Having these plaques in the brain does not necessarily mean the development of dementia, but it does risk increases exponentially to enter the clinical phase of Alzheimer's disease.
To measure the levels of amyloid beta protein in the brain, two techniques are used: Amyloid's pimitron emission tomography (PET), a neuroimaging technique that can use up to three types of tracers to detect protein accumulation and cerebrospinal fluid analysis fluid obtained by means of lumbar puncture.
Lower pathological threshold
In this study, a pioneer in the world, BBRC researchers compared the results obtained in PET tests with other cerebrospinal fluid indicators to determine the thresholds that give the maximum agreement between the two measures.
"And the results were unexpected: we have seen in a quantitative, objective and precise way that it is possible to discover a subtle pathology of amyloid from PET to some values much lower than what has been established", Pointed out the Expert.
In particular, they found that the value of about 12 of the centioidal scale indicates the initial pathology of amyloid, until until now, the determination was made by a specialist in nuclear medicine from the visual reading of PET, translated into a volume of centioidoid, used to give a positive result to the pathological concentration about 30.
Scientific Director of the Alzheimer's Program for Prevention of Alzheimer's disease, Jose Luis Molinuvu, noted that "the great added value of this study is that we did it for the first time in the world, estimating the concentration of amyloid proteins in humans without changes cognitive, but with risk factors for the development of Alzheimer's disease, as well as in people with dementia. "
The study included 205 people with no cognitive impairment in the Alfa study, aged 45 to 75, and 311 participants in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Project (ADNI), which also includes cognitively healthy people, but also at different stages of life. Alzheimer's disease, between the ages of 55 and 90. EFE