News Flash! Just a spit away…

Posted by on Nov 23, 2009 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Have you ever wondered if  joint aches, memory lapses, dry mouth and other disorders are signs of aging or actually signs of pending illness?  Take heart. Scientists have learned that the protein content of the saliva changes as women age and that some of these changes may actually be markers of disease, in particular, diseases in which the immune system attacks itself, such as lupus.

In a study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, researches analyzed proteins in saliva samples taken from 532 healthy women between the ages of 20 and 30 and 55 and 65.  They found that about half of the protein types were unique in the particular age group. What’s more, older women had almost twice as many immune-type proteins in their saliva than their younger peers. The results remained even after the researchers factored in such things as age, time that the saliva was collected and whether or not the women were menopausal.

Not only researchers hope that proteins in saliva will prove to be useful in diagnosing risk of certain diseases, but they are also investigating ways in which they might be used in tests that will make diagnosis and treatment of certain age-related diseases in women easier. Saliva for example, is far more accessible and less invasive than a blood prick.

Could easier disease diagnosis be only a spit away? What a salicious thought.

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