SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A team of scientists and clinicians at LSU Health Shreveport made a groundbreaking discovery for Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

“What we found was that elevated Hydrogen Sulfide was seen in Alzheimer’s patients so much so that it was actually able to discriminate between people with dementia versus controlled people,” said Dr. Karen Stokes with LSU Health Science.

Stokes said the new finding could be extremely impactful on Alzheimer’s disease because it will allow doctors to detect the disease early and monitor the progression better.

“But of course the big thing is that potentially Hydrogen Sulfide is a therapeutic target and could help guide us towards a treatment for the disease,” she said.

Dr. Steve Alexander, also with LSUHC, said monitoring risk factors for Alzheimer’s and dementia-like high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes might lessen the amount of Hydrogen sulfide that can be found in a patient’s body.

But, he added, although it’s not been confirmed yet, even those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 possibly could be at risk, as well.

Alexander said one of the immediate consequences for COVID infections is an increased risk for developing strokes, adding that the “so-called” called long-term COVID patients may have an increased risk for several conditions, including dementia or Alzheimer’s disease related to dementia.

Therefore, Alexander, said it’s important for people to get vaccinated, and pay very close attention to other risk factors that may increase the chances of getting dementia.

“It’s expected that it’s going to be very large numbers of individuals developing dementia as the aging population of the United States increases,” he said. We’re going to have people living longer, and hopefully we can have them living longer and more healthy lives, if we manage these risk factors.”