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  • Is a Blood Test About to Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease?


    There may be a big breakthrough coming in how we diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease! Researchers from the University of Washington have been working tirelessly to develop an alternative diagnostic tool. A blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's disease is not a new idea. For years we have seen study after study present a range of different biomarkers attempting to detect the devastating disease at its very earliest, pre-symptomatic stages. Despite a growing volume of alternative hypotheses, measuring levels of amyloid beta protein deposits in the brain is still the best diagnostic tool for tracking the progression of the disease.

    Two years ago researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis revealed amyloid deposits in the brain could be effectively tracked by measuring levels of two amyloid subtypes in the bloodstream. That study found that as levels of amyloid beta 40 and amyloid beta 42 go down in the bloodstream, amyloid beta deposits increase in the brain. While earlier blood serum tests returned results with 88% accuracy, the addition of two biomarker (age and one protein) calculations increased the specificity to 94%. These results are comparable with the PET Brain Scan accuracy.

    Why is this important? Aside from providing a testing option with fewer potential side effects, the speed at which identifying potential study participants for Alzheimer’s vaccine trials could be key in identifying the control group. This could lead to finding a cure that much sooner.

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