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Alzheimer’s Disease Could Be Detect Through Urine

Update Date: Jan 18, 2016 02:45 PM EST

Paving the way for early diagnosis, a new study shows it is possible to detect Alzheimer's related changes in the brain through urine odor.

Fox News reports that study's new authors used genetically modified mice to show urine odor could reveal the disease even before the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain. Odor changes in the urine were gene-attributed and not to actual changes in the brain, making the exercise a promising tool for early diagnosis of the condition.

"Previous research from the USDA and Monell has focused on body odor changes due to exogenous sources such as viruses or vaccines. Now we have evidence that urinary odor signatures can be altered by changes in the brain characteristic of Alzheimer's disease," said study author Bruce Kimball at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC). "This finding may also have implications for other neurologic diseases."

Researchers studied three mice models in which the test mice mimicked the human condition of the disease, according to US News and World Report.

"While this research is at the proof-of-concept stage, the identification of distinctive odor signatures may someday point the way to human biomarkers to identify Alzheimer's at early stages," said study author Daniel Wesson, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Alzheimer's is said to impact 5.1 million Americans aged over 65 years. In the absence of a cure, an early diagnosis can help patients and families plan for the future as the disease progresses.

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