AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Diagnostic Biomarkers in Saliva Show Promise in Recognizing Early Alzheimer’s Disease

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Noninvasive test uses small molecules in saliva to help identify those at risk

Your spit may hold a clue to future brain health. Investigators at the Beaumont Research Institute, part of Beaumont Health in Michigan, are hopeful that their study involving small molecules in saliva will help identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – a neurologic condition predicted to reach epidemic proportions worldwide by 2050. Investigators found salivary molecules hold promise as reliable diagnostic biomarkers. The study exemplifies the quest by scientists to combat Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disorder with no cure and few reliable diagnostic tests. In the U.S., Alzheimer’s is a health epidemic affecting more than 5 million Americans. Investigators seek to develop valid and reliable biomarkers, diagnosing the disease in its earliest stages before brain damage occurs and dementia begins.

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