According to a Swedish study, biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease can be detected in the cerebrospinal fluid in the very early stages of the disease.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 168 patients were analyzed by University of Gothenburg researchers and found that CSF AD profile biomarkers which are present in patients with mild memory problems could be detected by current tests.

The earlier we can catch Alzheimer’s disease, the more we can do for the patient, researcher Kaj Blennow said in a university news release. The patients who had the typical changes in biomarker profile of the cerebrospinal fluid had a risk of deterioration that was 27 times higher than the control group. We could also see that all patients with mild cognitive impairment who deteriorated and developed Alzheimer’s disease had these changes in the biomarker profile of their cerebrospinal fluid.

The researchers found the relationship between the CFS AD profile and other typical signs of Alzheimer’s such as the presence of the gene APOE e4 and deterioration of the area of the brain that controls memory.

Their discovery will have major significance if the new type of pharmaceutical that can directly slow the progression of the disease proves to have a clinical effect, Blennow said. It is important in this case to start treatment before the changes in the brain have become too severe, he added.