Last Updated: May 14, 2018
Researchers from King’s College London believe a blood test would allow Alzheimer’s disease to be diagnosed and treated before symptoms occur.
Learn more about the research on using a blood test for Alzheimer’s and what it means for the future of dementia treatment.
Researchers Use a Blood Test to Predict the Onset of Alzheimer’s
In a study 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.
More than five million Americans are currently 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 research may be needed. This type of test could also help physicians diagnose the disease before symptoms occur and 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.” Lovestone adds:
“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.”