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Possible Marker for Alzheimer's Disease Found

WEDNESDAY, June 9 (HealthDayNews) -- Measuring levels of certain antibodies may improve diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites), say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta.

They studied leukocytes -- white blood cells that are part of the immune system -- in 33 Alzheimer's patients and 42 healthy people. They found that leukocytes in Alzheimer's patients had four times higher levels of markers for amyloid-b peptide and receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE).

The findings could help scientists develop a method for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, when treatment has the most potential to help. It could also lead to a way to identify people at risk of the disease and to the development of a new treatments.

The study results lend support to the theory that autoimmunity and resulting inflammation play a major role in Alzheimer's.

The study will appear in the September issue of the Neurobiology of Aging.

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