Give for a new Alzheimer's diagnosis method

from €25,000 (19%)

In the Netherlands, as many as 5 people with dementia are diagnosed every hour. The number of people with dementia is expected to rise to over half a million by 2040. In 70% of these cases, it's Alzheimer's disease. It's a disease that affects us all, and there is currently no cure. On average, people live with the disease for about 6,5 years, impacting patients, their families and friends, and society significantly.

While Alzheimer's is common, the path from initial symptoms to diagnosis is often lengthy. A staggering 69% of caregivers report that it took more than a year to receive a dementia diagnosis! Currently, a definitive diagnosis can only be made through a spinal tap. However, with your help, this is about to change.

Researcher Marlies Gijs made the groundbreaking discovery that Alzheimer's disease can be detected using tears. Instead of an invasive spinal tap – a procedure that is not possible for all patients – collecting a tear drop may be sufficient in the future. This method can also help monitor the progression of the disease more effectively. After all, you only get one spinal tap, but tears are readily available.

A fast and patient-friendly diagnostic method for Alzheimer's

Marlies Gijs's research has demonstrated that Alzheimer's can be diagnosed using tear fluid. However, it is not yet possible to implement this method in clinical practice. We still need €25,000 for validation research and further development into a new Alzheimer's test. This represents a significant innovation in detecting this life-threatening disease.

Perhaps, in a few years, we'll also have a 'simple' self-test for Alzheimer's. With the new diagnostic method, fewer to no spinal taps will be necessary, patients and their families will receive earlier diagnoses, and the disease's progression can be better monitored or even predicted. Patients and their families can then adjust lifestyle factors earlier to slow down the disease. Additionally, a treatment for Alzheimer's might become closer as information can be obtained at multiple stages of the disease process.

So, donate now... for a new diagnostic method for Alzheimer's.

About the project owner

Dr. Marlies Gijs is a biochemist and university lecturer at the University Eye Clinic of the Maastricht UMC+. She is fascinated by tears, which she believes are not only a valuable source of disease-specific substances but also provide other unique insights. For example, newborn babies cry without tears. Gijs is also the founder of the Tear Research Network, which brings together ophthalmologists and scientists involved in tear fluid research from around the world. Gijs is particularly interested in what the eye can mean for brain disorders and was the first researcher in the world to detect Alzheimer's in tear fluid.

Source of statistics: Alzheimer Nederland

UM Crowd is part of the University Fund Limburg/SWOL. This fund is a recognised 'algemeen nut beogende instelling' (ANBI). This means that your donation is fully or partially tax deductible. You will receive an automatic email with a receipt after your donation. Click here for more information about ANBI.

On Wednesday evening 28 August, UM researcher Marlies Gijs, in collaboration with the University Fund Limburg, is organising an art auction for her pioneering research into a new Alzheimer's diagnosis method.

More info will follow soon.