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When a drug is going through clinical trials for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease verifying its effectiveness through empirical means can be difficult. Most studies rely on cognitive studies. Ideally, researchers could better understand the effects of the drug being tested if a bio marker could be used.

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Sweden, have found what they feel is a reliable bio marker.

The cerebrospinal fluid of more than 80 patients, with mild cognitive impairment, was measured for their levels of the tau and amyloid-B proteins. After 2 years additional cerebrospinal fluid was taken and compared to the previous samples. Some of the participants developed full-blown Alzheimer’s and showed a rise in the tau and amyloid-B proteins. Those participants who remained in the early stages of Alzheimer’s had approximately the same levels of the proteins.

By using the bio markers, as a bench mark, novel drug candidates that actually slow, or stops, the neurodegenerative disease process in Alzheimer’s disease could more readily be detected because a normalized or reduction in the amount of the tau and amyloid-B proteins would be expected.

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