welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, July 31, 2020

alzheimer news-this blood test may be the one

Image result for organicgreendoctor
a lot of the well known alzheimers researchers are saying this 
this may be the one 

the test is called ptau217
217 is the location of a certain amino acid on the tau protein that correlates well with whether a patient will get or has alzheimers disease

in the theory of what happens in alzheimers disease
amyloid builds up in the brain forms plaques that kills brain cells
this happens first
later tau proteins that are found in the brains nerve cells get damaged and start to unravel
these tau proteins form tangles that also kill brain cells

amyloid shows up first then tau second

there are ways to diagnose alzheimers disease with some degree of certainty

when one dies they can autopsy the brain thats the 100% way to diagnose it
that doesnt really help though if your are dead

they use memory tests to look for memory loss compatible with alzheimers disease

they do a spinal tap for spinal fluid which then can be tested for amyloid levels and tau levels

they can do a amyvid pet scan for amyloid which will be positive if one has alzheimers disease
other things can make the amyvid scan positive also but if you have alzheimers it will be positive

they now can also do a tau pet scan 
it was recently approved for use especially in research

i havent had the tau scan but i have had the other ones done
they all are positive

in the private world the amyvid pet scan is not covered by insurance
it costs $5000-$10000
my spinal fluid test cost over a $1000 and that didnt count the neurology visit and the spinal tap procedure costs

what if they could just draw blood and test it for ptau217
thats much easier 
it probably will be alot cheaper
ive had two spinal taps and didnt necessarily enjoy them
ive had three amyvid pet scans which werent as bad as a mri but did require this space ship looking device to inject the radioactive stuff into my arm

i would go for a blood test any day

a lot of well known researchers are excited about this test
i heard the head researcher on npr talking about the test this week
i called it a garage  moment 
i was listening to it as i pulled into my garage this week and then sat there in my car to hear the full interview

he was definitely optimistic about this new test

the researchers were able to autopsy brains of folks who died from alzheimers 
the autopsies verified the diagnosis of alzheimers
they were able to then obtain old blood samples on these patients and tested them for ptau217 which were positive

they also went to colombia and tested folks there who have the positive gene for early onset alzheimers
if you have the gene you will almost 100% get alzheimers
their ptau217 tests were almost 100% positive

it apears the ptau217 is specific for alzheimers disease
it also may be used to differentiate alzheimers disease from other demetias like frontotemporal dementia eg

it seeems to be just as accurate as the amyloid scans and the spinal fluid for amyloid and tau

it appears that if this test works out it would be available in 2-3 years
it will first be used in the research world than later will be used in the private world for folks to have done

do you want to know if you have it or if you will get it when you are
? do you even want to know

planning for the future might be easier to do if you know
maybe you would want to retire earlier
maybe you would want ot get all you end of life stuff in order
maybe you would want to be more aggressive about your health care if you had knew
for me
i think had if i really had known at 40 or 50 i would have been even more aggressive about my diet and weight and blood pressure control and cholesterol control etc

it seems if this works out to be as good of a test as they think it will be that we all will one day have to decide
do you want to know

the organicgreen doctor

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