A 15-year-old boy has developed a potential test for Alzheimer’s which could allow the disease to be diagnosed 10 years before the first symptoms appear and even stop its progression.
Krtin Nithiyanandam, of Epsom, Surrey, has developed a ‘trojan horse’ antibody which can penetrate the brain and attach to neurotoxic proteins which are present in the very first stages of the disease.
The antibodies, which would be injected into the bloodstream are also attached to fluorescent particles which can then be picked up on a brain scan. Krtin submitted his test to the Google Science Fair Prize and learned that he had made it through to the final last week.
He will find out next month if he has won a prestigious scholarship and mentoring to take his idea further.
“The main benefits of my test are that it could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms start to show by focusing on pathophysiological changes, some of which can occur a decade before symptoms are prevalent,” Krtin told ‘The Daily Telegraph’.
Neurodegenerative disease like dementia are hard to diagnose and treat because of the blood-brain barrier. Krtin’s antibodies can pass through the barrier. Lab tests even showed that they ‘handcuff’ the toxic proteins, stopping them from developing further which could potentially stop Alzhiemer’s in its tracks.
“Some of my new preliminary research has suggested that my diagnostic probe could simultaneously have therapeutic potential as well as diagnostic,” said Krtin who attends Sutton Grammar School. Krtin moved to Britain from India with his family when he was a baby. He suffered from hearing problems as a child and wants to study medicine when he leaves school.
“I have personally seen what a difference it can make to people’s lives and I want to make a difference to the lives of others,” he said.