New Alzheimer’s marker strongly predicts mental decline

A new marker of Alzheimer’s disease can predict how rapidly a patient’s memory and other mental abilities will decline after the disorder is diagnosed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.

In 60 patients with early Alzheimer’s disease, higher levels of the marker, visinin-like protein 1 (VILIP-1), in the spinal fluid were linked to a more rapid mental decline in the years that followed.

Scientists need to confirm the results in larger studies, but the new data suggest that VILIP-1 potentially may be a better predictor of Alzheimer’s progression than other markers.