Alzheimer’s risk could be detected 15 years earlier with advanced blood test: study

Alzheimer’s risk could be detected 15 years earlier with advanced blood test: study


New research has shown that a simple blood test can indicate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease 15 years earlier, according to a report in the Times of London.

Neuroscientists from Sweden’s University of Gothenburg have discovered ways to test remnants of a protein known as phosphorylated tau 217 (pTau 217), which is commonly associated with the disease known as phosphorylated tau 217 (pTau 217) — with “impressive” results.

The testing procedure — called the scan — was created by ALZpath, and offers a relatively painless and less expensive alternative to spinal taps to get insight into a person’s risk of developing the disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“ALZpath’s pTau217 test can help healthcare providers identify the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Andreas Jeromin, ALZpath’s chief scientific officer.

Three independent clinical studies in 786 patients showed that ALZpath provides “high diagnostic accuracy” in identifying Alzheimer’s disease-causing proteins within the brain such as amyloid plaques.

Blood test appears to be a breakthrough in detecting Alzheimer’s disease. Getty Images/iStockPhoto
A blood test can now find clues to Alzheimer’s disease years before it appears, according to a report in The Times of London. Via Reuters

The company announced that its latest innovation will be available for clinical use by the end of January, and will also become commercially available — CNN reported the price ranges between $200 and $500 — at some point as well.

“This is a useful finding in blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, paving the way for clinical use of the ALZpath pTau 217 assay,” researchers Kaj Plino and Henrik Zetterberg said in a statement, adding that the “robust” test is already in use in various laboratories around the world.

“What’s impressive about these results is that the blood test was just as accurate as advanced tests such as cerebrospinal fluid tests and brain scans for showing Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the brain,” lead author Nicholas Ashton told CNN.

“We are now close to having these tests at peak times, and this study shows that.”

Researchers expect that the blood test will constitute a breakthrough in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. AFP via Getty Images
The blood test also offers cost effectiveness compared to spinal taps. AP

Last year, MIT designed a peptide — a chain of amino acids — to interact with the brain’s tau protein and repair it as well.

Separate research has also found that taking multivitamins can protect against dementia as well.

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