NUIG research identifies markers to improve dementia risk prediction

Galway Bay fm newsroom – An international research team – which includes NUI Galway – has identified biomarkers that could help identify those at risk from developing dementia later in life.

The researchers measured blood levels of two specific proteins – increased levels of which were found to correlate with a higher tendency to develop dementia.

Almost 1,600 participants took part in the study, which has been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

It involved a team from NUI Galway’s HRB-Clinical Research Facility, as well as teams at Harvard Medical School and Boston University.

Combined with traditional known risk factors for dementia, they studied elevated blood levels of two specific biomarkers – one which indicates vascular stress, and another of an enlarged heart.

They found that increased levels of GDF15 and NT-ProBNP were associated with increased risk of dementia as well as signs of vascular injury on MRI brain scans.

This suggests these biomarkers will now play a potentially major role in identifying those most at risk from developing dementia later in life.

The team at NUI Galway says identifying those at increased risk is key to developing new therapies to slow or reverse the symptoms of the disease.