New research carried out by British scientists suggests one blood test could detect (uncover) Alzheimer’s disease.
The blood test identifies a specific set of proteins (tiny parts in the body) associated with Alzheimer’s.
This is a huge development.
1,000 people were involved in the testing stage of the research, including:
- 452 healthy people – people with no memory loss
- 220 people with mild cognitive impairment – problems with memory, thinking, language
- 476 with Alzheimer’s disease – a disease that kills brain cells and reduces chemicals in the body meaning people suffer from memory loss, thinking and language problems. Alzhemier’s disease is the most common cause of dementia – severe memory loss, thinking and language problems that affect daily life.
The research (which involved doing blood tests and MRI scans) allowed scientists to see if patients who already had mild cognitive impairment would develop Alzheimer’s disease the next year. The results were 87% correct.
Scientists are hoping this new research will help them to develop dementia drugs and identify the development of Alzheimer’s sooner. You can read the detailed report of the research on the Alzheimer’s Society website.
If the test is allowed to be used by doctors in the future, patients with cognitive impairment will probably have a brain scan or spinal fluid test too to confirm if they have Alzheimer’s.
Scientists have been developing the blood test for a long time, but it is not ready for GPs to use.
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