Study: Proteins May Predict Dementia Years in Advance

    Study: Proteins May Predict Dementia Years in Advance
    Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • A new study of frozen blood samples, which was published in the journal Nature Aging, has found a group of proteins that can help predict multiple forms of dementia ten years before the disease is diagnosed.

    • After screening blood samples from over 50K healthy adults in the UK Biobank over 14 years, 1,417 of them developed dementia. The researchers found that the proteins GFAP, NEFL, GDF15, and LTBP2 are firmly correlated with dementia.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    As dementia diagnostic technology grows more and more accurate, it's now time to get the countless people who knowingly and unknowingly suffer from this disease access to this potentially life-saving technology. This can include putting patients with dementia symptoms into clinical trials like these, as well as starting to produce and distribute such blood tests throughout society at large.

    Narrative B

    While developing state-of-the-art diagnostic tests is certainly important, the public should also be aware of known preventative steps people can take to minimize the risk of developing dementia. Leading medical institutions, such as the journal The Lancet, have suggested that low education levels, hearing loss, obesity, and high blood pressure, among other things, are all fixable comorbidities linked to dementia. It's vital to address root-cause stressors.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 99% chance that there will be a breakthrough in protein structure prediction by 2031, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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