The Alzheimer’s disease could be detected earlier than ever thought due to the presence of unique urine odor, according to a study.
The researchers from the Monell Chemical Sense Center, Philadelphia studied the lab animals with Alzheimer to determine specific urinary changes caused by amyloid plaques in the brain. The survey was conducted in collaboration with colleagues from the US Department of Agriculture.
The scientists inserted human genes into the mice’s genomes then activated them with drugs to develop amyloid plaques. The human genes had mutations that caused mice’s brain cells to produce excess amyloid precursor protein (APP).
The mice developed similar behavioral symptoms of mental deterioration. The mutated genes were introduced in three separate strains of mice. The investigators discovered each strain of mice had different urine odor signatures that were distinctly different from the healthy control group.
The differences in odor signature were not due to different compounds, but to differences in concentrations of the same compounds. Thus, the odor signature has been linked to the underlying gene rather than the progress of changes in the brain.
“We have evidence that urinary odor signatures can be altered by changes in the brain characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. This finding may also have implications for other neurologic diseases,” said Dr. Bruce Kimball, a study author and a chemical ecologist with the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC).
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting 48 million people worldwide. It has been reported in people over 65 years of age and about 70% of the cases are believed to be genetic in nature. The most common early symptom is difficulty remembering recent events.
It gets worse with the passage of time, problems with language, disorientation, loss of motivation and lack of self-care. There is no definitive diagnostic test for this neurodegenerative disease, a hall of which is an excess of amyloid plaque deposits in the brain. IMAGE/usnews.com