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Biomarker 'could help give individualised Alzheimer's progress'

Biomarker 'could help give individualised Alzheimer's progress'
18th March 2011

Scientists have identified a biomarker that could be used to track the progress of Alzheimer's.

Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease illustrates how the immune gene MGAT3 is expressed differently in Alzheimer's patients, which could help to provide more individualised prognoses for those diagnosed with the condition.

Results of the study separated Alzheimer's patients into three separate groups, each with a different prognosis.

Dr Milan Fiala from the University of California Los Angeles said: "These differences could point to a new way to track the progression of Alzheimer's disease and the effectiveness of these natural therapies based on an individual patient's immunity."

These findings could prove extremely helpful in the US, where experts are predicting that dementia will become an "epidemic".

Around 5.4 million people in the country currently have the condition, with 14.9 million caregivers looking after them in an estimated 17 billion hour of unpaid care, which would otherwise cost a total of $200 billion (£124.3 billion)

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.