Blood test could predict Alzheimer's three years in advance of symptoms showing

10 March 2014

A team of US researchers is patenting a blood test for Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) based on 10 lipid biomarkers associated with the diseases.

The researchers, from seven institutions, say the test can predict with 90 percent accuracy if a healthy person will develop the diseases within three years and those who would remain normal in the near future. This isn't the first research to indicate dementia-related diseases could be predicted from a diagnostic test. See below for other Alzheimer's research published on MTB Europe [1].

They say the panel reveals changes in the breakdown of neural cell membranes resulting in 10 identifiable lipids, or metabolites, circulating in the blood. In particular, two of the 10 metabolites have strong links to the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s. The research has been published online in Nature Medicine.

“Our novel blood test offers the potential to identify people at risk for progressive cognitive decline and can change how patients, their families and treating physicians plan for and manage the disorder,” says the study’s corresponding author, Dr. Howard J. Federoff, executive vice president of health sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center.

“The preclinical state of the disease offers a window of opportunity for timely disease-modifying intervention, and biomarkers defining this asymptomatic period are critical for successful development and application of these therapeutics,” says Federoff.

“We consider our results a major step toward the commercialization of a preclinical disease biomarker test that could be useful for large-scale screening to identify at-risk individuals,” Federoff concludes. “We’re intending to design a clinical trial where we’ll use this panel to identify people at high risk for Alzheimer’s to test a therapeutic agent that might delay or prevent the emergence of the disease.”

Harry Wood

1. Related information on MTB Europe

RNA test could detect Alzheimer's disease

Laser treatment could cure Alzheimer's

Underlying cause of Alzheimer's found and new treatments identified

Combining imaging and assessment can predict Alzheimer's two years in advance

Hormone produced by moderate exercise could delay onset of Alzheimer's

New compound halts Alzheimer's in mice

Diabetes drug could boost memory and  help Alzheimer's sufferers

Chronic inflammation in the brain is precursor to Alzheimer's

Alzheimer’s disease produces chemical markers years before symptoms show


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