WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- The development of dementia often from Alzheimer’s disease late in life is associated with abnormal blood levels of dozens of proteins up to five years earlier, a new study says.
The study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are based on new analyses of blood samples of over ten thousand middle-aged and elderly people -- samples that were taken and stored during large-scale studies decades ago as part of an ongoing study. The researchers linked abnormal blood levels of 38 proteins to higher risks of developing Alzheimers within five years. Of those 38 proteins, 16 appeared to predict Alzheimer’s risk two decades in advance.
Although most of these risk markers may be only incidental byproducts of the slow disease process that leads to Alzheimer’s, the analysis pointed to high levels of one protein, SVEP1, as a likely causal contributor to that disease process.