Feb 01, 2018

Blood Test For Dementia: New Test Can Detect Alzheimer’s Decades Before Symptoms Appear

A simple blood test may hold the key to an early dementia diagnosis, according to new research pioneered by Australian and Japanese scientists.

In a world first, the test is expected to make an accurate diagnosis up to 30 years before symptoms appear.

Published in the journal Nature, the research was 90 per cent accurate when trialled on healthy people, those with memory loss and people living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The test works by detecting a specific protein in a person’s blood – essentially a biomarker for the protein amyloid beta.

Amyloid protein plaques are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, so if a precursor could found before the plaques develop, it may delay the onset of symptoms.

The research was co-authored by Professor Colin Masters from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.

“We can finally say we have a high-performing blood test [for Alzheimer’s disease], which from my point of view is a major achievement,” he said.

“Most people probably wouldn’t want to have this test unless there’s a specific therapy, but many others would take the view that they want to plan ahead by five or 10 years,” Professor Masters said.

“If the test is negative, there’s a 95 per cent chance that you’re not going to develop Alzheimer’s within the foreseeable future — that means within 10 or 15 years.”

“Always in this type of medical science research, it’s always good to have a diagnosis first and then a treatment follows,” he said.

“Once you can diagnose the condition accurately and specifically, then it makes it so much easier to work on developing a specific therapy.”

Developing a blood test has a number of benefits, it simplifies a process that can be challenging to navigate with invasive tests.

A blood test is a non-invasive technique, when compared to some of the brain scans and other methods used to detect protein buildup in the brain.

This breakthrough, could also help in creating treatment options and delaying the onset of symptoms. It’s been suggested that it was help with the progress of clinical drug trials.

“Some of these studies could be markedly improved from a cost and efficiency basis if we could preselect people going into clinical trials through blood test,” Professor Masters said.

Professor Masters explained that the research is still in the early stages, but with proper research and validation, this become part of a routine blood test for people over 50 years old with further.

Professor Masters also believe that this test may eventually be used to predict how fast patients will deteriorate and monitor the effectiveness of future treatments.

What do you have to say? Comment, share and like below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Chris Hemsworth’s Alzheimer’s gene doesn’t guarantee he’ll develop dementia. Here’s what we can all do to reduce our risk

Chris Hemsworth, famous for his role as the god Thor in Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, has announced he will be taking a break from acting after being told he has two copies of the APOE4 gene, increasing his risk of Alzheimer’s. Read More

Is it ethical to covertly give medication to people living with dementia?

When we are caring for someone living with dementia, our first priority and commitment must always be to the person themselves. We must always have their best interests at heart and place their welfare at the centre of what we do. When it comes to administering medication the same priority applies: medication must be given... Read More

Amazon sells straightjackets and restraints online for people with dementia

Online retailer Amazon has come under pressure for selling physical restraints on its website that are intended to be used to restrain people who are living with dementia. Amazon sells several types of physical restraints online, including hand control mittens, belt restraints, upper body jackets, and, perhaps most shockingly, a full body “binding sling”. The... Read More
Advertisement