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AAIC: Saliva Test May Help Spot Alzheimer's

Very small study shows some promise, but much more research will be needed

MONDAY, July 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Early data suggest a test based on a patient's saliva might someday help detect Alzheimer's disease. The study was to be presented Sunday at the annual Alzheimer's Association International Conference, held from July 18 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

Shraddha Sapkota, a neuroscience graduate student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues tested the saliva of 22 people with Alzheimer's disease, 25 people with mild cognitive impairment, as well as 35 people whose cognitive skills were normal for their age.

The researchers found that the saliva of people with Alzheimer's had different levels of metabolites compared to the saliva of healthy people or those with mild cognitive impairment.

"Saliva is easily obtained, safe and affordable, and has promising potential for predicting and tracking cognitive decline, but we're in the very early stages of this work and much more research is needed," Sapkota said in a news release from the Alzheimer's Association.

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