New algorithm will help diagnose dementia faster

An international research team led by Professor Barbara Borroni of the University of Brescia has developed a new biomarker-based dementia detection algorithm.

Scientists are using biomarkers to make it easier to diagnose dementia in the early stages of the disease. The new disease detection algorithm makes this procedure more reliable, and also helps to identify specific types of dementia for further testing of new types of drugs on patients. The latest research on this topic was published in the journal Diagnostics.

To achieve high accuracy in diagnosing specific types of dementia, scientists and doctors have to overcome a lot of difficulties due to the lack of suitable practical methods and tools for studying patients, especially when it comes to the onset of the development of the disease.

Also, doctors are discouraged by the fact that the symptoms of dementia often overlap with those of other neurodegenerative disorders, which significantly reduces the accuracy of studies and the effectiveness of drugs. For example, cholinesterase inhibitors are better at treating symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but at the same time, they exacerbate the clinical manifestations of neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with frontotemporal dementia.

In the future, drugs modified for specific types of disease may appear, so it is important to learn how to identify the symptoms of a specific type of dementia as early as possible in order to use the “right” drugs during treatment.

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for detecting Alzegeimer’s disease, developed at the end of the last century, have significantly influenced the procedure for detecting dementia. Nevertheless, recent studies have shown that the specificity of the detected biomarkers is not high enough. At the same time, the need to search for new markers, more specific and effective for solving the assigned tasks, has increased.

The new development of doctors allows the use of blood to create biomarkers, and not cerebrospinal fluid. The doctors decided to use the existing algorithm and together with it analyze the levels of the light chain of neurofilaments in the blood in the diagnosis of dementia.

In addition, this examination technique will help determine the type of dementia based on blood tests. Such a minimally invasive diagnostic method will soon be able to completely replace the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.

“New biomarkers are paving the way for a new generation of diagnostic methods. Moreover, the existing methods of detecting diseases of this kind will noticeably accelerate. Patients and their loved ones will have to be less in the dark and guesswork, ”says Professor Eino Solje.

So far, the developments of scientists cannot be used in everyday work. The updated research algorithms are not available to all clinics, as well as suitable markers are not available everywhere. But the authors of the work hope that their achievements will soon accelerate the process of diagnosing dementia around the world.

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