of Pennsylvania researchers report that a test which measures
the level of isoprostane in urine may someday enable doctors
to better identify people at high risk of Alzheimer's disease.
of isoprostane, a molecule formed from fat and lipids when
they are attacked by free radicals, serve as indicators of
free-radical activity, which may play a role in Alzheimer's.
While they also are found in spinal fluid and blood, urine
is the easiest of the three fluids to obtain.
in the Archives of Neurology, researchers said they measured
the isoprostane level of 50 patients with Alzheimer's disease,
33 with Mild Cognitive Impairment, and 40 healthy volunteers.
levels of the patients with Alzheimer's averaged about three
times normal, the researchers reported.
40 percent of the patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment
had normal isoprostane levels, and none of them developed
Alzheimer's over the next two years.
of the Mild Cognitive Impairment patients with high isoprostane
levels that were indistinguishable from the Alzheimer patients
went on to develop Alzheimer's.
results imply that individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment
have increased brain oxidative damage before the onset of
symptomatic dementia," the researchers concluded. "Measurement
of this isoprostane may identify a subgroup of patients with
Mild Cognitive Impairment . . . who are at increased risk
to progress to symptomatic Alzheimer's Disease.
of July 7, 2002