Blood test that can predict Alzheimers disease
American researchers have developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer's disease up to 3 years before symptoms appear. Although only 90 per cent effective it is believed that this could be useful at identifying those who would benefit from experimental treatments. Scientists at Georgetown University, Washington DC, found that the levels of 10 fats in the blood differed between groups that showed mild cognitive deterioration and those who remained mentally alert in a 5 year study involving over 500 people over the age of 70.
Director of Research and Development at the Alzheimer's Society, Dr Doug Brown said:
'Right now we do not have a blood test that is currently available to predict the risk of someone getting dementia. Having such a test would be an interesting development, but it also throws up ethical considerations. If this does develop in the future people must be given a choice about whether they would want to know, and fully understand the implications.'
Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: 'These are encouraging findings, but it’s vital to continue investing in research to capitalise on results like these. Half a million people are living with Alzheimer’s in the UK today but we still need better ways to diagnose the disease and treatments that can stop it in its tracks. Research is key if we are to make a real difference to people’s lives.'