Human testing of a new Alzheimer's vaccine could begin in a few years due to effective results on study mice and the vaccine shows reduced amount of protein deposits in the brain that produces Alzheimer's. A new machine could help with early detection of the disease.
The only way to accurately diagnose Alzheimer's disease is during autopsy because it is the only way to get a proper examination of the brain.
A new machine may put early detection in reach and when fighting Alzheimer's, time is the enemy.
"The incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer's disease you know are increasing, because we are living longer," said Alex Roher, M.D., Ph.D, Sun Health Research Institute.
Dr. Roher is on the front end of Alzheimer's research and he is optimistic about the future thanks to a new tool called the Transcranial Doppler.
"Which is ultrasound investigation of the blood vessels of the brain," said Roher. "As a tool which is noninvasive, it doesn't require any injections or punctures of your veins or anything like that."
The Doppler allows researchers to look at the arteries supplying blood to the brain. A clogged artery can cause Alzheimer's.
"It is very important, you know to realize that the brain, you know, is highly dependent on a good supply of blood," said Roher.
Dr. Roher says that vivid pictures from the ultrasound are an important window into the brain. The brain can't feel pain and plaque build-up can go unnoticed.
"It's like a silent killer, the heart gives you pain," said Roher. "The same process in the brain doesn't give you anything, but it gives you dementia."
The Doppler can diagnose Atherosclerosis in the brain easier.
"What we are trying to do is try to utilize Transcranial Doppler in order to see if we can forecast; you know the conditions of the arteries before the onset of the disease."
With early diagnosis, a patient may be spared from Alzheimer's.
Dr. Roher is conducting a study in conjunction with the National Institute of Health. He suggests treating the brain as you would your heart. Eating right and exercise will go a long way toward preventing blockages in the brain.