Alzheimer’s Blood Test
A breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer’s has been shown to accurately identify patients with the disease, researchers announced July 28. 2020. The experimental findings suggest a potential route to early diagnosis of the neurodegenerative condition as early as 20 years before symptoms appear.
Despite afflicting nearly 10% of elderly Americans, the precise cause of Alzheimer’s is unclear. Scientists believe it is generally linked to tau proteins and beta-amyloid plaques—tangles of molecules that accumulate, interfering with neurological processes (video explainer)—but confirmation is typically made through brain cross sections after a patient dies. The test, which measures a certain type of tau protein in the bloodstream, distinguished cases of Alzheimer’s from healthy patients as well those with other types of dementia with accuracy between 89% and 98%.
Researchers said the approach may be ready for clinical use in as little as three years (2023).
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