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First Proven Diagnostic Test For Alzheimer's

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the peace-of-mind-or-otherwise dept.

Medicine 66

An anonymous reader writes "A test that can confirm or rule out Alzheimer's disease at an early stage has been shown effective by US pathologists. 'With this test, we can reliably detect and track the progression of Alzheimer's disease,' said lead researcher Leslie Shaw with the University of Pennsylvania's Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative in Philadelphia. ... The new test is detailed in the journal Annals of Neurology. It measures the cerebral-spinal fluid concentration of two biochemicals associated with the disease — amyloid beta42 peptide and tau protein."

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66 comments

spinal tap? (5, Funny)

Dr_Banzai (111657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410469)

This Alzheimer's test goes to 11.

My first time, Spinal Tap was playing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410531)

When I was 17, my parents had an 15 year old female exchange student from Spain. My parents wanted a girl that could hang out with my little sister. My sister and Veronica (the exchange student) didn't get along very well, but they still did a few things together. I was in heaven to have such a hot girl always hanging around our house. And, the best part was that she always wore such skimpy clothes and even occasionally changed clothes without shutting the bedroom door. I caught a few glimpses of her in just her panties and bra. She had such a perfect body and dark smooth skin.

One day, my mom informed me that I would be taking my sister and Veronica to the mall. I hate the mall, but I agreed--mostly just to get the chance to walk around behind Veronica and stare at her perfect ass as she walked around the mall in the tight mini skirt she was wearing that day. When we got to the mall, my sister ran into a group of friends that she knew from school, and she took off leaving Veronica alone with me. I felt a bit uncomfortable, but Veronica said in her broken English that she needed to buy clothes. So, we went into JC Penney. I tagged along with her as she picked out some clothes and a swimsuit. Then she headed over to the dressing rooms. I sat down outside to wait for her. After a few seconds she came out in one of the outfits and asked how I liked it. I said she looked very beautiful, and she kinda blushed at that. Then she told me to come into the dressing room for a second. I asked her why, and she said she wanted to know if I liked the swimsuit, but she didn't want to have to walk out into the main part of the store to show me. So I stepped into the dressing room and she shut the door behind us. I thought she would ask me to turn around, but she didn't! She just started undressing right in front of me! I was getting so horny. I stared at her dumbfounded as she slipped off her blouse, skirt, then her bra and panties. She asked me if I liked her body and I think I managed to mutter yes. She bent over to pick up the swimsuit and I had a perfect view of her soft pussy mound. I noticed that it was glistening a bit with drops of fluid. I wondered if she was horny for me. I brushed my hand against her ass as she was standing up and she turned and smiled at me. Then I knew it was my opportunity. I grabbed her arm gently and turned her around and pulled her body towards me. We started kissing passionately and I touched every part of her naked body I could reach. She slipped my shirt off over my head and I felt her wonderful breasts press against my chest. I turned her around so that I could massage her breasts and finger her pussy while I kissed her neck from behind. She seemed to really enjoy that. Before long my pants were off and I let my hard cock slide between her butt cheeks. She bent over slightly and directed my cock towards the wet mound between her legs. I felt the head of my dick penetrate about an inch into her and I almost came right away. But I held back and slowly thrusted until my whole cock was buried in her damn tight pussy.

She kept saying, "Yes...mas...yes...mas!" And I knew I was about to climax. So I reached around and grabbed the front of her thighs and humped her as hard as I could. I nearly lifted her off the ground as I thrusted into her. The feeling of her ass ramming against my inner thighs was the best! And, I came deep into her pussy.

We kissed a lot more and finally cleaned up to leave the dressing room. I found out that she was a virgin too before that day. But, she had fucked herself with cucumbers back in Spain so she would experience no pain on her first time. That summer turned out to be the best summer ever. We taught each other everything about oral sex, anal sex, toys, and mutual masturbation. WOW!

MOD PARENT UP!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410571)

Wow, I must say, *W*O*W*

Water Calories (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410771)

Trying To Lose Weight ? Avoid Water, Doctors Say

BALTIMORE (AP) - Could drinking common tap water make it harder for you to shed a few pounds ?

That's the argument of a well-known obesity researcher. Contrary to what we have all believed for years, water does in fact have calorie content, says Dr. James Korsch of Johns Hopkins University. In an article to appear in this April's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Korsch and his team present new research describing how they used new techniques that show that water has calories.

"In the last five years there has been a big change in how we think about metabolism. Old ideas that we took for granted are now being put to the test with new measuring techniques, and we're finding that many of them just aren't true" Dr. Korsch said at a press conference last week. "If you think about it, there really is no reason to assume that water has zero calories. What we found was that in fact a liter of distilled water has about 40 calories."

But not all of Dr. Korsch's colleagues are buying his hypothesis. "The biggest health problem we're facing in America today is obesity," Dr. Julie Walther, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Associated Press last week. "Dr. Korsch has an excellent reputation, but many scientists in the obeisity research community are calling this work into question. Time will tell if he is correct, but right now we're concerned about the public getting the wrong message."

What's the main idea behind Dr. Korsch's work ? "The point is that the conventional methods for finding out how many calories a substance has just don't correspond to how the human body processes food. Typically, a method known as calorimetry is used, where the food is burned and the calories produced are measured by looking at the change in temperature. Well, unfortunately, that's just not how the human body consumes food - we don't have a furnace in our stomachs . What we have is a complex biochemical process. And not only that, but how are we going to burn water to compute its calorie content ? There are many substances which simply can't be studied in this way. Dirt is a good example. Right now we are running a study funded by the Army on the calorie content of dirt and sand. The Army is very interested in the possibility that soldiers could possibly subsist on a diet of dirt alone."

So what are the implications for todays dieters ? "If you are reaching for a bottle of spring water, think twice." says Dr. Korsch. "You're better off with a good diet soda."

Re:My first time, Spinal Tap was playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410895)

that's some creative writing.

Re:My first time, Spinal Tap was playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410967)

Creative? That's how it went down in 99.

Re:My first time, Spinal Tap was playing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421245)

Pics or it didn't happen.

Re:spinal tap? (3, Interesting)

kylemonger (686302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411307)

No joke. I think most people when faced with a lumbar puncture would choose to not to know, or to just start taking Aricept blind. A needle in the arm or the ass is bad enough, a needle in the spine is a whole other level of terror.

Re:spinal tap? (1)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411831)

In all honesty, a spinal tap is not that bad of a procedure, provided that the patient relaxes and doesn't try to use their back for a bit after the tap is done. Oh, and yeah, it hurts, but not (from what I've heard) any worse than a needle in the triceps, like a few vaccines.

Re:spinal tap? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27413549)

Interesting.

I had to hold down my 3 year old daughter while they stuck a needle in her spine. This is a standard test for meningitis.

If I could have made her relax, or even taken the needle myself, I would have done it. The memory haunts me to this day.

She had a bladder infection, thank fuck.

Yup, not so bad. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27415207)

In all honesty, a spinal tap is not that bad of a procedure, provided that the patient relaxes and doesn't try to use their back for a bit after the tap is done.

A whole lotta women get it done during childbirth, too, and do just fine. (Men are real wimps sometimes. If I had to carry the babies we'd probably have zero kids. Certainly no more than one.)

Well, okay, an epidural [wikipedia.org] isn't quite as deep as a spinal tap, but the difference is millimeters. Accidentally puncturing the dura is pretty common. My wife had a c-section for our third kid, and she got the headache [wikipedia.org] afterward that happens when you get a puncture in the dura leaking spinal fluid.

She's delivered the natural way, and the headache was worse. She wanted to do a VBAC because she was scared of getting that headache again for our fourth.

Still, I'd probably do it if I had the chance. Either way, I'd want to know. If it were negative, I'd be overjoyed. If it were positive, well, at least I could plan ahead.

Re:Yup, not so bad. (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421643)

Well, okay, an epidural isn't quite as deep as a spinal tap, but the difference is millimeters.

Dude. I'm no doctor, and I've never had a spinal tap, but it seems like a few millimeters might be a whole hell of a lot more painful when you are talking about drilling into the spinal column.
Just my guess though.

Re:spinal tap? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412097)

Not to mention that I cannot test my boss very secretly that way.

Re:spinal tap? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27414693)

I love pain, where do I sign up?

Re:spinal tap? (1)

Suicide Drink (1125803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27415343)

I had to get a spinal tap done when I was younger. I was hospitalized for a little while and I thought I felt fucked up because of the drugs or the illness. When I got sent home from the hospital I still couldn't move around very well and was stuck in bed. But no, years later I had another bout of whatever it was I had, and this time I didn't get a spinal tap, and was up and about in a couple of days after the illness had past. The most horrendous part is that they lost the results of the test for which the spinal tap was taken. Of course, given the choice between getting Alzheimer's treated early on and being laid up for a week, I think I'd rather avoid the Alzheimer's. My friend's grandmother had it and my grandfather had it. For me, there's hardly anything worse.

Re:spinal tap? (1)

omris (1211900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27420321)

I could see choosing even a very unpleasant spinal tap over having AD, but that's not really the choice being offered here. It's having a potentially unpleasant procedure to find out that yes, you do in fact have this disease, about which we can do almost nothing.

The meds we have now are really piss poor. Do crosswords and hard math problems a lot. It's cheaper and WAY less painful. Plus it might actually help.

Re:spinal tap? (1)

alexo (9335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27420027)

I got one done in my early teens.
Definitely not fun but not as bad as you make it sound.

Guess where I'm taking mom to-morrow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410471)

After that, the court order...

Re:Guess where I'm taking mom to-morrow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410613)

then we'll see who"s living in the basement, mother!

Skip court and legal fees.... (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412337)

Have Pink Flamingo, will travel [imdb.com] !(check out Don Ameche)

Hell, in 15 minutes, who's gonna know!

Hint: She won't!(she==yo' momma!)

I may have Alzheimer's (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410475)

But at least I don't have Alzheimer's.

Socialism is AWESOME!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410961)

Until one of two things happens:

1) A non-honest, non-benevolent leader rises to power (hey, how often does that happen, right?)

2) The upper class gets tired of paying the freight for all you slothful, entitled losers.

Other than that, I love socialism! Now who wants some?

Re:I may have Alzheimer's (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412377)

Yo' dawg, we heard you like Alzheimer', so we put a...What??!?!?!? Who are you?

Ohhhh! Shiny!

Head a splodes...or not, I forget...*goes back to editing on /.*

Re:I may have Alzheimer's (2, Funny)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 5 years ago | (#27413435)

The best thing about Alzheimer's is that you can hide your own easter eggs.

WORD (0)

riff420 (810435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410495)

So does this mean we can cross out lupus?

Not april fools (2, Informative)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410569)

This is not april fools people. Was reported in Swedish media some time ago.

Re:Not april fools (1)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411057)

Watch out, he's trying to catch you off guard!

Re:Not april fools (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411137)

Are you kidding me? The article clearly says that the researcher forgot how it worked immediately after discovering it. How is that not an April Fools joke?

Re:Not april fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27412807)

What article were you reading??

Re:Not april fools (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27414521)

What article were you reading??

Made you look. April fools! ;-)

Re:Not april fools (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411275)

Yeah, but given the way the /. editors shit all over the page on April 1, who knows for sure?

Re:Not april fools (1)

icebrain (944107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411347)

I would hope they wouldn't sink to joking about this...

You must be new here (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412407)

Hah! They will sink lower than the Marianas Trench, without provocation!

This is kdawson we're talking about, after all.

Re:Not april fools (1)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412475)

Oh, I'm so glad I saw this post. You just reminded me that I need to STAY AWAY from Slashdot tomorrow. Some sites have subtle, actually-humorous April Fool's Day gags. Slashdot's are like being beaten in the face with raw pork loin.

April 1 is Opposites Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27420535)

Everything on Slashdot that was speculative leining to false, becomes true. However, everything on The Onion is ripe for the picking and absolutely believable. See you in the Promised Land.

Greater Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410637)

Problem with tau protein is it normally just sics the kroot protein on you while they fire from a distance ...

Re:Greater Good? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27415579)

Haha, I was thinking the same thing.

Rap Stars? (1, Funny)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410675)

The new test is detailed in the journal Annals of Neurology. It measures the cerebral-spinal fluid concentration of two biochemicals associated with the disease â" amyloid beta42 peptide and tau protein."

They sound like rap stars. I hope there isn't some kind of "group" name for these protein's.

Re:Rap Stars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410877)

Braincell killas, word up.

Good News Everybody! (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410711)

... Good news Everybody!

in before tasteless... (1)

know1 (854868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410735)

what was it again?

The test for alzheimers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27410783)

What is your name?
What is your quest?
What is your favorite color?

Re:The test for alzheimers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27412917)

Heero

To become a hero

Purple!!!

Original article (4, Informative)

aibob (1035288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27410875)

You can read the abstract of the article in the Annals of Neurology at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122266379/abstract [wiley.com]

Re:Original article (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27417619)

Annals of Neurology

Hmm, parent may contain a Goatse link!

Now... (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411071)

...if biomarkers for ALS can be found.

Fine, we can detect it (3, Informative)

sacremon (244448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411453)

We still don't have a cure for it, so you are just telling the person at present 'Hey, you have Alzheimer's! Good luck with that!". I know, there might be treatments that can take advantage of early detection some time in the future, but at present it would just be pretty depressing.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (4, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411581)

A diagnostic test is useful for finding a cure, though. When doing research, it helps to know who actually has the disease and be able to measure whether it's getting better or worse.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (1)

Finite9 (757961) | more than 5 years ago | (#27427477)

Whats new here? They could test for Alzheimers 10 years ago. Seems like Sweden is at the forefront of Alzheimers research though. There is a very nice man called Christer who runs the Alzheimers fÃrening (organisation) in Sweden who is *very* active in driving recognition of the disease. I can imagine that a good reason for testing early is to rule out other things. My wifes mother dies of the disease 6 years ago, her uncle now has it, and her other uncle has another dementia, though not Alzzheimers. Talk about running in the family. If my wife starts getting aggressive long-term, then it would be "better" to know if it's Alzheimers, and not depression, or any other disease/reason. At least we could begin with treatment. On another note, I always get depressed when I read about new research...Christer was convinced ten years ago that there would be a cure in ten years.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (1)

wazza (16772) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411611)

True. One upside might be that with a working test for Alzheimer's, doctors (especially those who aren't experienced in it) will not put you on other neuro-type treatments for diseases that look somewhat like Alzheimer's. At least then you won't be on unnecessary drugs.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27411855)

If we can find a diagnostic, we might find a way to help prevent/prolong onset, so learning earlier might give a person a better chance to prepare.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (5, Insightful)

kaaona (252061) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412035)

If only we could find a way to bring my dear mother back to her husband and family today. She's living in the world of her teens and 20s, and always angry that no one else thinks it's 1940. She doesn't recognize her two sons, and we miss her terribly. Alzheimer's is the cruelest of diseases.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412081)

Let me know when they can help me find my car keys.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27412537)

they're under the left side of the couch.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27412155)

Identifying the disease at an early stage is the first step. There are several drugs under development which may at least be useful to reduce the degeneration associated with AD. Achieving this alone will be significant.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27414017)

We still don't have a cure for it, so you are just telling the person at present 'Hey, you have Alzheimer's! Good luck with that!".

Knowing allows planning - for the person (as best they can), their relatives, friends and people at work. Consider the alternative. You have a person who is slowly but surely (although often with periods of lucidity) losing their memory, their judgment, and acting in increasingly inappropriate ways. This is a serious problem for all concerned.

If you know you have Alzheimers, you can make some appropriate decisions. It is a degenerative disease with a likely timeline. For one, you can set realistic goals - goals within your future capabilities. You can start wrapping things up because you know your time of being effective is running short. You can start figuring out who will make financial decisions, because eventually there will be con artists preying on you. And if you don't like the idea of not remembering your closest family members, potentially causing rifts with family members for no good reason other than your brain is dying, acting in a sexually inappropriate fashion, losing control of bodily functions etc... you can choose to end it while you still have the mental capacity to carry it out.

If you are a family member/friend you can realize that their brain is faulty and going to get faultier. They are literally not the people you used to know, so you can't expect them to act the same way any more. They may treat you badly and not realize it. If you liked them before, you can choose to remember them in that way rather than the demented person they become. There are a host of other things to get out of the way, powers of attorney and stuff like that. It allows you to plan, too. It won't get better, it will get steadily worse.

Another thing - as the boomers age there are going to be a lot of people with Alzheimers in positions of power - government and business especially. They will make bad decisions that affect a lot of people. Think Reagan with his finger on the nuke button, not being in his right mind any more. Jobs will be lost and shareholders will lose money as a result of demented CEOs. Mandatory Alzheimers testing in these positions (and candidates) past a certain age would certainly prevent a lot of problems.

Generally, people with Alzheimers are going to be driving cars, operating heavy machinery and inadvertently kill people. Enough of them and it's going to cause serious problems. Perhaps the problems will be obvious and pervasive enough that those in power acknowledge it, even though it conflicts with their generally narcissistic desire to live forever and not be reminded of their mortality, let alone be constrained against their will.

Re:Fine, we can detect it (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422345)

The future is now. Aricept can be used to delay the progression of Alzheimer's at all stages, but starting before the symptoms get bad is obviously very useful. Having a good test for Alzheimer's might make it easier to experiment for a cure.

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27411505)

Denny Crane!!!

Nothing about Alzheimer's Disease is funny. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27411827)

Try a little tenderness. The caregiver's bible is 'The 36-Hour Day.' Aricept is unlikely to make any difference. Avoid neuroleptics if at all possible. Try to laugh with, rather than at. Peace

Re:Nothing about Alzheimer's Disease is funny. (1)

aoeu (532208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27414143)

WTF, over. What the fuck is wrong with you people. This is not funny, my mother is likely to die of AD. Really, try a little tenderness. Peace

Re:Nothing about Alzheimer's Disease is funny. (1)

aoeu (532208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27417515)

The parent rant was due to the grandparent being modded +5 funny. I prefer insightful. Peace

Not proven! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27411911)

Til some else reproduces it!

Even the best make mistakes, over-looking a sample preparation bias could produce the results.

Did they pick these two markers out of how many? Chance could still explain it.

Almost a golden grail in AD research! (2, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27412345)

Those who don't have a loved one with suspected Alzheimer's Disease (AD) don't even imagine how important this news is. AD is impossible to accurately decisively diagnose before it's moderate to advanced (before that it's just a non-specific Mild Cognitive Impairment), and even then there will always be doubts. AD is only decisively diagnosed after the death of the patient, when a biopsy of cerebral mass is made. No genetic diagnosis egsists, because there are so many genetic modifications that can lead to AD.

Anyway, this is great news for me, as I do have someone who is suspect to early signs of AD. I hope he can be tested soon.

And in other news, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27412893)

In other news, we now have the first proven diagnostic test for Alzheimer's!

Two years old? (1)

Frans Faase (648933) | more than 5 years ago | (#27413405)

This kind of testing was performed on my wife in the fall of 2006 her in the Netherlands. In de december 2006 she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease based on the test results. I do not know whether this is exactly the same test as described in the article, but I remember having read that it was developed by a Dutch academical hospital.

Really good news (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27417289)

This is indeed really good news as previous testing consisted of cutting open the skull and counting the rings.

I kid in part, but I could have sworn that the only way to positively diagnose Alzheimer's was in a post-mortem. If it's possible to detect in the very early stages, before it becomes debilitating, those who have it may get a chance to put some things in order and make their wishes (DNR, Long-term care options, etc) known to loved ones.

My grandfather died of Alzheimer's, but the doctors would never call it that. They mumbled something about "Organic Brain Deterioration" os somesuch (I was only 14 when he died, so memory's a bit fuzzy). We all knew it was Alzheimer's though. Formerly BRILLIANT man just utterly gone. The day I beat him in a game of checkers, I knew something wasn't right, and that probably a year before he showed any obvious signs.

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