Australian and Japanese scientists have developed a simple blood test to help identify dementia.
The test identifies high levels of the protein, amyloid-β, a key cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers hope that the test can be used to help identify Alzheimer’s early, partly in the hope of halting or preventing the disease. They also aim to use test results to recruit potential case studies prior to the irreversible brain damage that can be caused by the protein.
Scientists have long been searching for a way to beat dementia, and this test is seen as a solution to health researchers finding a way to manage Alzheimer’s and, hopefully, a cure.
Until now, the only ways to test for high amyloid-β levels were using positron-emission tomography to map the brain, by measuring the protein in spinal cord fluid or during an autopsy.
This test is the first to reliably identify people with the early stages of dementia. Most trials are conducted on people with existing symptoms of the disease. It is hoped that the test will lead to more reliable and effective medical trials.
Read more at www.nature.com
Would you like to know if you have the early stages of Alzheimer’s? How far would you go to know?