Can we get ahead of Alzheimer's disease?

Potential blood test may help doctors detect Alzheimer’s disease before the damage is done

Categories: For Potential Participants, [Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimer's clinical trials, Alzheimer's diagnosis, Alzheimer's disease clinical trials, New Alzheimer's research]

A potential blood test has been developed that could help predict who might be at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease decades before symptoms occur.

The results of a Japanese clinical research trial, published in Nature, report that scientists have developed a blood test that may be able to indicate how much amyloid protein a person has in their brain. The accumulation of this protein in the brain is thought to damage nerve cells, and is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In this trial, the blood test was able to accurately predict amyloid protein plaque buildup more than 90% of the time. The clinical trial included more than 370 people.

Researchers still aren’t sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease. However, an abnormal accumulation of 2 proteins in the brain, called beta-amyloid and tau, have been linked to the disease. Clinical trials are looking at whether amyloid and tau proteins can be used to help us predict who might be at risk of Alzheimer’s disease, before symptoms occur.

What's next

Researchers hope this test could help match potential participants with new clinical research trials looking at ways to prevent the disease. However, more research needs to be done before this type of blood test can be offered to patients in a clinical setting.

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