Detecting Alzheimer’s disease through blood test shows real potential

December 3, 2020
Detecting Alzheimer’s disease through blood test shows real potential

A new blood test is able to check if those with mild memory loss are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD) later on.  AD is notoriously difficult to diagnose until much too late, so scientists at Sweden’s Lund University looked at ways to pick up the disease during its early stages, before it develops into dementia.

Their search focused on two proteins in the blood called phosphorylated tau and neurofilamet light, which have both featured as part of AD blood testing technologies. Analysing the levels of these two proteins in the blood of 573 subjects with memory loss helped the scientists build a revolutionary online tool; it incorporates data like age, gender and results from cognitive tests and combines them with results from the blood test to predict more accurately the risk of developing AD within two years or four years.

“Many people with AD seek care when they have only developed mild memory impairment, meaning many years before the dementia stage of the disease,” said the university’s professor of neurology Oskar Hansson, who led the research.

Read: New blood test for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease detection 100% accurate

“It is often difficult for doctors to give the correct diagnosis in people with mild memory impairment, as many different conditions other than AD can be the cause – our goal […] has been to find simple methods that can be used in primary care to make an early diagnosis and to begin treatment to relieve symptoms at an earlier stage.” While promising, the tool is currently only intended for use in research.

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Category: Features, Technology & Devices

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