Researchers have found levels of specific components of the cerebrospinal fluid were reduced in patients with mild cognitive impairment who later developed Alzheimer disease, compared with others patients with MCI who did not develop Alzheimer’s.

The study from researchers from Lund University and Skane University, Sweden was published in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

In the report, cerebrospinal fluid levels of Aβ42 appear to decrease five to ten years before patients with MCI develop Alzheimer disease. Patients can now test for low Aβ42 and start disease-modifying therapies at an earlier time.

"These markers can identify individuals at high risk for future AD least five to ten years before conversion to dementia. Hopefully, new therapies that can retard or even halt progression of the disease will soon be available" concluded the author.