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Predicting Alzheimer's Before It Starts With A Simple Blood Test

Feb 28, 2018 by Comfort Keepers of San Marcos

The hunt is still on for finding a cure for brain degeneration, as it is the lead component of so many debilitating diseases.

For seniors, dementia is a quite common set of neurodegenerative conditions, with Alzheimer’s constituting almost 85% of diagnoses. This progressive condition leads to poor quality of life and early death for many elderly folks across the globe. It’s predicted that by 2050, over 131 million people around the world will have the disease.

Researchers may have found a new blood test to help detect the potential of Alzheimer’s down the line in a younger patient. This approach could be the preventative answer we’ve been looking for:

Amyloid Beta

The key factor of the blood test is to detect the presence of amyloid beta in brain cells. This protein is one of the telltale signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The issue scientists have had with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is that symptoms tend to show up several years after the disease already began flourishing in the body. With this test, however, the presence of the condition can be spotted before physical symptoms appear.

After testing it on 373 patients from Australia and Japan, ranging in age from 60 to 90, it was found to be 90% successful at predicting Alzheimer’s disease development.

A Non-Invasive Approach

Not only is this test effective, but it also doesn’t require getting a needle poked into your spine.

Yes, the typical test for Alzheimer’s is called cerebrospinal fluid testing, or more familiarly, a spinal tap. This also tests for amyloid beta levels in the brain, but they have many downfalls. They can only show signs of the disease when it’s already progressed, they’re expensive, and just downright painful.

Brain scans are also used, though it’s hard to distinguish the presence of amyloid beta if there’s not a lot of it present, thus preventing earlier detection.

A simple blood test, on the other hand, is much cheaper than invasive testing or brain scans.

Detection Leads to Treatment

Before you can find an effective treatment (or cure), you first need to know how the disease begins and from there, how it is diagnosed.

Therefore, this blood test could lead to an effective treatment, and yes, a potential cure, in the future.

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