Diagnosis years before symptoms appear – treatment practice

Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed before symptoms appear

A new study showed that Crohn’s Alzheimer’s years before occurrence Symptoms can be diagnosed. This could lead to faster initiation of treatment, increasing the chance of preventing or slowing future cognitive decline.

A major study led by Sweden’s Lund University has shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease can now be identified before they show any symptoms. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Medicine.

Two proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease

According to a recent note from Lund University, it has long been known that there are two proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease – beta-amyloid, which forms plaques in the brain, and tau, which accumulates in brain cells at a later stage.

Raised mirrors of these proteins in combination with cognitive impairment previously formed the basis for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Ten to twenty years before a patient experiences significant symptoms, changes in Brain and only when the dew spreads do the nerve cells die and the sufferer has the first cognitive problems.”explains Oskar Hansson, head physician of neurology at Skåne University Hospital and professor at Lund University.

“That’s why Alzheimer’s is here early stage so hard to diagnose”according to the doctor.

Not a risk factor, but a diagnosis

The scientist now has a large international research study conducted with 1,325 participants from Sweden, the USA, the Netherlands and Australia. Subjects had no cognitive impairment at the start of the study.

Using PET scans the presence of tau and amyloid in the participants’ brains could be visualized.

It was found that people in whom these two proteins were detected had 20 to 40 times higher Risk developed the disease several years later during follow-up compared to those who had no biological changes.

“When both beta-amyloid and tau are present in the brain, it can no longer be considered a risk factor, but rather a Diagnose consider”says Rik Ossenkupplunge, first author of the study and principal investigator at Lund University and Amsterdam University Medical Center.

“A pathologist who is like that. brain samples the test would immediately diagnose the patient with Alzheimer’s disease.”

Two schools of thought among researchers

According to Ossenkupplunge, Alzheimer’s researchers belong to two schools of thought on the one hand, those who believe that Alzheimer’s disease cannot be diagnosed until cognitive impairment begins.

And then there are those, including himself and his colleagues, who say that the diagnosis is purely based on Biology and what can be seen in the brain.

“You can compare our results with, for example, prostate cancer. If you have a Biopsy and find cancer cells, the diagnosis is cancer, even if the person has not yet developed symptoms.”i.e. Ossen Koppel.

A new drug gives hope

As the report goes on to say, positive study results were recently published that are consistent with the new medicine against Alzheimer’s disease, lecanemab. On this basis, the Lund University study is particularly interesting, the researchers say.

“If we can diagnose the disease before cognitive problems appear, we may be able to use a drug to treat the disease at a very early stage.” slow downexplains Hansson.

“Combined with physical activity and proper nutrition, you would then have a better chance of preventing or slowing future cognitive decline. However, more research is needed before the first therapy recommended for people who have not yet developed memory loss”, concludes the scientist. (advertisement)

Author and source information

This text meets the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by health professionals.


  • Lund University: Alzheimer’s disease can be diagnosed before symptoms appear, (Abruf: 13/11/2022), Lund University
  • Rik Ossenkoppele, Alexa Pichet Binette, Colin Groot, Ruben Smith, Olof Strandberg, Sebastian Palmqvist, Erik Stomrud, Pontus Tideman, Tomas Ohlsson, Jonas Jögi, Keith Johnson, Reisa Sperling, Vincent Dore, Colin L. Masters, Christopher Rowe, Denise Visser , Bart NM van Berckel, Wiesje M. van der Flier, Suzanne Baker, William J. Jagust, Heather J. Wiste, Ronald C. Petersen, Clifford R. Jack Jr & Oskar Hansson: Amyloid and tau PET-positive cognitively intact individuals are at high risk of future cognitive decline; in: Nature Medicine, (veröffentlicht: 10.11.2022), Nature Medicine

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a doctor’s visit.

Leave a Comment