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Biomarker in Blood May Help Predict Alzheimer’s Disease
The new study identifies this biomarker as a potential target for treating or preventing AD.
A total of 99 women between the ages of 70 and 79 years and free of dementia in the Women’s Health and Aging Study II had their blood tested for levels of serum ceramides, a fatty compound found throughout the body that is associated with inflammation and cell death. The participants were placed into three groups: high, middle, and low levels of ceramides. They were then followed for up to 9 years. Of the 99 participants, 27 developed dementia, and 18 of those were diagnosed with probable AD.
The study found that women who had the highest levels of the biomarker were 10 times more likely to develop AD than were women with the lowest levels. Those with middle levels of the biomarker were nearly eight times more likely to develop the disease compared with those with the lowest levels.
The study was supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Johns Hopkins Older Americans Independence Center.
Read the news release on the Academy's Web site.