Blood test may be able to predict Alzheimer's
Doctors may be able to assess person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease through the use of a blood test, according to new research.
Scientists at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. took blood samples from more than 500 people over the age of 70. The researchers studied the blood samples over a period of five years and compared samples of the participants who developed Alzheimer’s with those of participants who developed no cognitive impairment.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, showed 10 markers of Alzheimer’s that could predict risk of long-term mental decline; the markers of Alzheimer’s all involved differences in the levels of fats in the blood, but experts said the causes for the blood changes remain unclear. Scientists said that with further studies of the blood test, the method is likely to be able to predict risk of Alzheimer’s with as much as 90 percent accuracy.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s typically appear ten years after the disease begins to attack the brain. By developing an effective test to predict a person’s risk, experts said they hope to be able to administer early treatment and thereby reduce the number of people affected by the disease.