Alzheimer's lipid test.
Alzheimer's testing raises the question ' if there is no treatment, would you want to know?' On the other hand, could those self same lipids that are depleted and used as biomarkers be a useful tool as a nutritional guide.
Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed by identifying the amyloid and pau proteins in the brain that accumulate and make the brain 'shrink'. Up to now it has only been possible to diagnose the disease once a person has it. New research carried out at Georgetown University in Washington DC has investigated the potential of lipids in the blood to predict the onset of Alzheimer's. The study looked at the blood lipid levels in volunteers aged over 70, for five years. Results showed that ten types of lipid were depleted in the patients that went on to develop Alzheimer's, when compared to the levels in those that did not develop the disease and that this panel of lipids is a reliable test to predict if a person will develop Alzheimer's disease. There were also other metabolites that were decreased in people that later developed Alzheimer's and these included serotonin, phenyl alanine, lysine, phsophatidylcholine, taurine and acyl carnitine. Could this indicate a pattern of supplements that could help Alzheimer's patients and guide nutritionists? One of the interesting metabolites is lysine. A number of studies in the last five years have revealed that the characteristic protein plaques in an Alzheimer patient's brain contain high levels of the cold sore virus, herpes simplex1. The method by which the virus interacts with the amyloid protein has been established and there is now a general consensus that herpes simplex 1, although not responsible for Alzheimer's disease, is certainly associated with it. Lysine supplements have been used for a long time as a preventative treatment for cold sores and other herpes simplex infections. Lysine may have a large role to play in Alzheimer's both as a replacement for low blood levels and for inhibiting the herpes simplex virus.