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Jul 21, 2014

Research Promising for Alzheimer's Test

Historically, treatments for Alzheimer's disease have had a very poor success rate. Researchers feel that treatments would be more successful if the disease could be diagnosed earlier. Symptoms of the disease can take a decade to appear after it starts.

A new study in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia has identified a set of proteins in the blood that can predict the start of dementia with 87% accuracy.

The researchers used data from three international studies. Blood samples were taken from 1,148 people, 476 of whom had Alzheimer’s, 220 with memory problems, and a control group of 452 without any signs of dementia. The scientists found that 16 proteins were associated with brain shrinkage and memory loss and 10 of those could predict whether someone would develop Alzheimer’s.

It will take several years to determine if this test can come out of clinic trials and be used reliably in routine medical use.

While the test itself won't lead to a cure, it gives scientists another tool to use in their search for more effective treatments.

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