Researchers from King’s College London have made a discovery that they say could lead to a blood test that would allow Alzheimer’s disease to be diagnosed and treated before symptoms occur. Learn more about this study and what it means for the future of Alzheimer’s treatments.
Predicting the Onset of Alzheimer’s
In a study recently published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, researchers from King’s College London revealed that they were able to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s with 87% accuracy.
The study involved 1,100 participants and found that 10 of the 26 proteins associated with Alzheimer’s indicated the progression of mild cognitive impairment to the onset of the disease. Previous studies have shown that one in ten people who have mild cognitive impairment eventually go on to develop Alzheimer’s.
Using this information, researchers analyzed protein levels and accurately predicted the onset of Alzheimer’s in 87% of cases.
The Impact of a Blood Test to Diagnose Alzheimer’s
There are currently more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and the disease is expected to triple by 2050, with no cure in sight. Finding a way to diagnose Alzheimer’s early and maximize treatment options is vitally important to fighting this epidemic. This groundbreaking study means that a blood test could predict the onset of Alzheimer’s before clinical symptoms are present, though more testing may be needed.
If a blood test could help physicians diagnose the disease before symptoms occur, medication could be started before Alzheimer’s progresses, which would optimize treatment options and expand research opportunities.
Oxford University neuroscience professor and senior author of the study, Simon Lovestone, said, “Many of our drug trials fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected.”
“A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments which could prevent the progression of the disease. The next step will be to validate our findings in further sample sets.”
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