Researchers say they can accurately identify people on track to develop Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear, which could help the progress of drug trials.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine, in St Louis, Missouri, writing in Neurology, measured levels of one protein, called amyloid beta, in the blood of 158 adults aged over 50 to see if this matched levels found in brain scans.
It did, but only 88% of the time – which is not accurate enough for a diagnostic test.
When the researchers combined this information with two other risk factors for the disease – an age of over 65 and people with a genetic variant called APOE4, which at least triples the risk of the disease – the accuracy of the blood test improved to 94%.
Senior study author Randall J Bateman, professor of neurology, said this could now help screen many more people than expensive brain scans.
“That means we can more efficiently enroll participants in clinical trials, which will help us find treatments faster, and could have an enormous impact on the cost of the disease as well as the human suffering that goes with it,” he said.
Read full, original post: Alzheimer’s blood test ‘one step closer’