A clue to solving dementia might just be inside all of us.
Researchers have identified a blood marker which appears to be associated with cognitive decline in old age.
It’s called ADMA – asymmetric dimethylarginine, and it’s linked to cardiovascular disease and plaque build-up in the arteries.
Researchers at Flinders University joined with the University of Aberdeen to test the ADMA levels of participants in the 1936 Aberdeen Birth Cohort.
The same group undertook intelligence tests when they were just 11 years old so it was possible to measure cognitive decline when they were re-tested later in life.
ADMA levels were tested in the year 2000, when the participants were 63 years old.
Four years later, those who had higher levels also recorded a decline in their cognitive performance assessments.
“Therefore, the results of this study suggest that ADMA, an easily measurable marker of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk, could be an early indicator of cognitive decline in old age-and possibly dementia,” Flinders University Professor Arduino Mangoni said.
If the results of this study are replicated in other tests, researchers hope the findings will lead to therapies to reduce ADMA levels and slow the progression of dementia.
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