A few months back word came that scientists were doing studies on a simple blood test that could determine if someone had Alzheimer’s disease. There were a significant amount of questions on the test, its reliability and if this type of testing would ever be readily available. According to a new study just released, a new prediction method involving a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease had a 87 percent accuracy rate.
The study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, looked at over 1,000 people in this test. These scientists looked at 10 proteins in the blood that can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers studied 476 patients with Alzheimer’s, 200 patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment, and 452 elderly control patients who did not have dementia. Blood testing was done looking for proteins which are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s along with some patients undergoing an MRI of their brain. The researchers first looked at 16 of the 26 proteins strongly linked to brain shrinkage that happens in Alzheimer’s disease. After a second round of testing, they were then able to pare those 16 proteins down to 10.
If successful, this would be a significant breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s as doctors would be able to diagnose patients much sooner. The multitudes of previous drug testing have been on stunting the symptoms of someone who already is living with Alzheimer’s disease. If this blood test becomes commonplace, researchers could now work on coming up with drugs that could halt its progression at a much earlier stage.
“Memory problems are very common, but the challenge is identifying who is likely to develop dementia,” lead study author Dr. Abdul Hye from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London said. “We now have a set of 10 proteins that can predict whether someone with early symptoms of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment, will develop Alzheimer’s disease within a year, with a high level of accuracy.”
To learn more about this exciting study, please click here.