Scientists are constantly working on ways to detect Alzheimer’s disease before it’s too late for people and a new and simple saliva test could reveal Alzheimer’s.
Even after the disease develops, it may still be hard to point it out. Doctors aren’t able to immediately diagnose people with the Alzheimer’s disease as they usually rely on symptoms that can be the result of something else as well. For example, memory loss as a cause of brain injuries.
But a recent study reveals that a simple saliva test could reveal Alzheimer’s. Scientists from the University of Alberta, Canada carried out a test in order to see if saliva can suggest the possibility of getting the disease in some patients. They analyzed the substances in the saliva from a number of individuals who developed the disease later on. The came to the conclusion that some components had increased levels in individuals who developed Alzheimer’s later in their lives, when compared to people who did not develop it.
Shraddha Sapkota, a neuroscience graduate student at the University of Alberta was the leader of the research. The study analyzed the metabolites in the saliva from 22 individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, 25 individuals with mild cognitive impairment and 35 individuals with mental skills within the normal range. They broke down the saliva of the people participating in the study by using liquid chromography-mass spectrometry in order to find out which substances were present in the saliva of the Alzheimer’s patients and to see if the substances were different in the saliva of the healthy people.
The scientists discovered that six substances were always present in the saliva coming from the people who developed Alzheimer’s later on. Experts regarded the saliva test as having real potential and deemed it potentially reliable but pointed out that the experiment needed a lot more research. Maria C. Carillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association said that the experiment is indeed promising. She added that the test can prove to be helpful in telling a physician when a person needs more testing.
Dr. Allison Reiss, head of the Winthrop-University Hospital’s Inflammation Section in Mineola, New York, however, believes that the research lacks crucial factors such as hydration state, tobacco use, medication, existing illness and others that may affect the substances in the saliva. She added that the study has a lot of gaps when it comes to evidence and that she’s not quite sure if the results will be the same or not when taking those factors into consideration.
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