Alzheimer’s disease affects more than the person with it.

For years, doctors and medical scientists have told us that the only true way to know if a person has Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is to do an autopsy and analyze the brain. This is not a good way to predict AD.

We do know that genetics can cause it. We also know that sugar is creating problems in the brain. It is being called Type III diabetes. We know that some metals predispose people to memory problems.

A few months ago, in the middle of the pandemic, there were several articles written about a blood test that is having great success in predicting AD.

Causes of AD Other than genetics, what seems to be the cause of AD? Plaques and tangles are what most people find when they Google this topic. The beta-amyloid and tau proteins are two that fragment and clump together creating a toxic effect on neurons.

Additionally, the tau proteins can destabilize and create neurofibrillary tangles. These tau protein tangles disrupt and can kill neurons.

Blood Test for AD Testing is ongoing around the discovery that plasma P-tau217 can distinguish AD from other neurodegenerative diseases. Initial indications show that 96% of the time it can delineate AD compared with MRI-based biomarkers and CSF or PET scans.

These tests were done with a group of known memory issues. Further study is being done with a wider group of people to determine how far in advance AD can be detected.

Is early Detection Possible? Blood plasma contains tau phosphorylated at threonine 217 (P-tau217) were tested in nearly 500 individuals without dementia. It takes time for AD to develop in people.

The very gradual memory loss is perhaps the first indication that something might be wrong. Yet, we all have those times when we cannot remember where we left the car keys or the name of someone you knew well a few years ago, or, like me, the name of a dessert recently. I could describe nearly everything in it but could not recall that it was called ambrosia.

Regardless, there are some other predictive biomarkers that can be used to predict AD. Cerebrospinal fluid and PET scans for AD-specific biomarkers are early types of AD prediction. P-tau217 changes before the other biomarkers reflect AD is present.

It is a great start. Minimally invasive blood tests may be part of normal blood testing in the not-to-distant future.


Many of us have family members or friends who have AD or who have died with AD. It is not something I would want to go through again. My father-in-law and brother-in-law died with AD. The last several years were heartbreaking.

Drugs, from antianxiety to cholesterol to narcotics to sleeping aids, affect memory. A poor diet consisting of refined carbohydrates, excessive sugar, and alcohol can contribute to AD. The one good note about AD that I discovered is found in green tea. I have spoken and written about this extensively over the past few years.

Green tea contains catechins. EGCG is one of many catechins that provides healthy results. Many of you may know that my first love was chemistry, long before I met my wife of 52 years. It is one of the reasons I love to delve into the technical content of various sources to figure out why things happen the way they do. AD is interesting for a myriad of reasons. I have seen it close up in family members and know how destructive it can be to many others.

EGCG and are two good links to learn more about green tea catechins. Not the topic for today’s article, but something for those wanting to know more.

Chemistry trivia for those who might enjoy naming chemical compounds. Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate is the ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid and is usually abbreviated EGCG. Its chemical formula is [(2R,3R)-5,7-dihydroxy-2-(3,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl)-3,4-dihydro-2H-1-benzopyran-3-yl 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate]. You can easily see why it is simplified into EGCG. Many studies show that it is effective in reducing beta-amyloid plaques.

Live Longer and Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


One Response

  1. Red, COVID is a topic to be expansively researched and defined over the many years to come, you’ve provided your readers a huge amount of information from your’s. Although all of that information is greatly appreciated, I’m glad to see another topic from your disciplined approach to data gathering. Alzheimer’s disease has taken a huge toll on society; therefore, it, too, is worthy of our time.
    Thanks for the change of information.

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