A group of Swedish researchers at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in western Sweden has followed a total of 1,200 patients at 12 clinics in the United States and across Europe as part of large multi-centre study.
Of patients included in the study, 750 had previously experienced symptoms of mild confusion and 529 had been diagnosed with AD. In addition, 304 healthy people were used as a control group.
The study analyzed biochemical changes in the brain reflected in three cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers that are known to increase in the case of AD.
The conclusions from the study, which have been published in the US medical journal Jama, is that with the help of the three substances the onset of the disease can be predicted with 85 percent certainty.
Despite the results researchers have urged caution in using the method in routine examinations as there remains no effective method to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.
The study also found considerable intercenter variations in assays and patient assessments and underlined a need for standardization of sample handling as well as of clinical assessments within AD.
Alzheimer disease is the most common cause of dementia and affects over 15 million individuals worldwide.