Researchers Discover Biomarker sCD14 For Dementia, Cognitive Decline And Brain Atrophy Diagnosis
Researchers from University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio along with medical scientists from Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne have discovered an inflammatory biomarker
that is related to brain atrophy
, cognitive decline
, according to a study of more than 4,700 participants from two large community-based heart studies. The study was published in the journal Neurology.
Dr Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology at UT Health San Antonio and director of the university's Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's and Neurodegenerative Diseases and senior author of the study told Thailand Medical
News, "We have strong reason to believe that sCD14 can be a useful biomarker
to assess a person's risk of cognitive decline
," "The most exciting part is that we could assess this risk in advance, when there is ample time to intervene and change the course of a person's life.”
Lead author, Dr Matthew Pase, Ph.D., of the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia added, "Higher levels of sCD14
were associated with markers of brain aging and injury, such as total brain atrophy
and a decline in executive functioning, the decision-making needed for many activities of daily life,"
The medical researchers studied risk of dementia
in 1,588 participants from the Framingham Heart Study and 3,129 participants from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Dr. Pase and Dr. Seshadri are Framingham investigators.
Upon study enrollment, Plasma sCD14
was measured in participants' blood. In the Framingham group, brain MRI and cognitive testing were performed within one year after the blood draw for sCD14
. A second round of tests was performed after seven years. Surveillance for dementia
was conducted over an average of nine years.
For the Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Health Study, the first brain MRI was obtained three to four years after enrollment and a second round five years later.
Dr. Seshadri added, "Cost-effective, blood based biomarkers
are greatly needed to detect and track the progression of preclinical brain injury predisposing to dementia
. Such biomarkers
could also act as endpoints in clinical trials of disease-modifying interventions and expand our understanding of disease biology."
To date, there are not yet any drug trials to see if lowering sCD14
levels would help cognition in humans. However, treatment with several targeted anti-inflammatory medications such as statins can lower sCD14
The researchers said, &quo
t;There is a growing recognition of the role of inflammation in neurodegeneration and vascular injury-related cognitive decline
Reference : Neurology (2019). DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000008682