Alzheimer’s disease could be detected in people who haven’t developed symptoms yet thanks to a new blood test that is cost-effective, non-invasive, and accurate – giving patients a head start to treat the condition while boosting research in the field.
“A blood test for Alzheimer’s provides a huge boost for Alzheimer’s research and diagnosis, drastically cutting the time and cost of identifying patients for clinical trials and spurring the development of new treatment options,” says lead author Randall J. Bateman.
Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s have a build-up of amyloid protein plaques in the brain. Up until now, only expensive PET scans and invasive spinal taps could detect the illness. According to a new study, the blood samples collected from 465 individuals — of which 46 were diagnosed following PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) assays, and 203 had mild cognitive losses — shows that the blood test is 88% as accurate as PET scans, and 93% as accurate as CSF analyses, proving a “consistent correspondence” between the traditional methods and the new development, even before any symptoms – such as dementia – appear.