Scientists Celebrate Groundbreaking Alzheimer’s Blood Test

An experimental blood test was highly accurate in detecting Alzheimer’s disease, scientists reported Tuesday, a promising advance that could make the diagnosis simple, affordable, and widely available.

The test was able to determine if people with dementia had Alzheimer’s rather than another condition, the New York Times reported. It also identified signs of Alzheimer’s 20 years before memory and thinking problems were expected in people with a genetic mutation that causes the deadly, degenerative disease, the outlet said.

“This blood test very accurately predicts who has Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, including people who appear to be normal,” Dr. Michael Weiner, an Alzheimer’s disease researcher at the University of California, told The Times San Francisco.

The research was published on the JAMA Network Open and presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

The blood test, performed with the same precision as more invasive methods, such as MRI brain scans, PET scans, and spinal taps, provides a much simpler and more affordable way to diagnose whether people with cognitive problems they were experiencing Alzheimer’s, rather than another type of dementia. .

Such a blood test can also be used to predict whether someone without symptoms would develop the disease, according to The Times.

“It is not a cure, it is not a treatment, but you cannot treat the disease without being able to diagnose it. And low-cost, accurate diagnosis is really exciting, so it’s a breakthrough, “said Weiner, who was not involved in the study.

According to experts, the test could be available for clinical use in as little as two to three years.

Almost six million people in the US and about 30 million worldwide have Alzheimer’s. Figures are expected to more than double by 2050 as the population ages, according to the report.