Spinal fluid tests can now “see” what are possible telltale signs of impending Alzheimer's disease. In a Reuters story about a report in the journal Neurology, the writer explained:
Current spinal fluid tests for Alzheimer's look for an imbalance in two proteins: beta amyloid, which forms sticky plaques in the brain, and tau, which is seen as a marker of brain cell damage. People with Alzheimer's tend to have lower levels of beta amyloid and higher levels of tau protein in their spinal fluid, and doctors often test for this to confirm the dementia is caused by Alzheimer's.
But would you want to know?