Memory Mondays: Blood Test for Alzheimer’s

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For years, scientists have been searching for a means of predicting, diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms occur. New research from King’s College London presents a blood test for Alzheimer’s with the potential to do just that.

In fact, the researchers noted they were able to predict the onset of the disease with 87% accuracy, according to the study.

The study found 10 of 26 proteins associated with Alzheimer’s indicated the progression of mild cognitive impairment to the onset of the disease. Prior research has indicated that one in 10 people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Based on this information, the researchers analyzed the protein levels of 1,100 participants. They went on to accurately predict Alzheimer’s in 87% of cases.

Currently, more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s in America, and that number is expected to triple by 2050. With such staggering statistics, finding a way to diagnose Alzheimer’s early and optimize treatment is crucial.

While more research may be necessary, this study from King’s College London is promising. A blood test for Alzheimer’s can help doctors to identify the disease before clinical symptoms are present and allow them to give medicine before it progresses.

“Many of our drug trials fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected,” said Simon Lovestone, a neuroscience professor at Oxford University and senior author of the study. “A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments, which could prevent the progression of the disease. The next step will be to validate our findings in further sample sets.”