Predicting Alzheimer’s with a simple blood test: getting closer and closer

Predicting Alzheimer's with a simple blood test: getting closer and closer

Before patients begin to experience memory loss and confusion, a simple blood test could identify markers of Alzheimer’s disease .

That’s the first step they’ve taken in recent research led by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis that has been published in the journal Alzheimer and Dementia .

Disease markers

Currently, the only viable methods for the detection of beta amyloid are positron emission tomography (PET) or lumbar puncture. However, these two diagnostic methods are burdensome for different reasons : PET scanning is expensive and not generally available, and lumbar puncture is highly invasive.

But this study opens the door to diagnosis through blood tests, after doing a test with 41 60-year-old individuals to assess the blood concentration of amyloid beta. 23 people tested positive, showing they had signs of cognitive decline. As Randall J. Bateman , leader of the work, explains:

Our results show that this beta-amyloid can detect whether amyloid has started to accumulate in the brain, which is exciting because it could be the basis for a quick and inexpensive blood screening test to identify people at high risk of developing it. Alzheimer’s disease.

Image | Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la santé