Posted on 11/03/2013

New Test Could Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

New Test Could Diagnose Alzheimer's Disease

Recent reports from the BBC suggest that British researchers have now developed a test to detect Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages. The test, which works by looking for ‘markers’ in the blood which are different in healthy people and those suffering from the disease, is now in development at the University of Nottingham, where researcher are hoping to create a quick and easy test that is viable in clinical environments.

The test could mean earlier diagnosis and better treatments. It uses proteins strongly linked with Alzheimer’s such as amyloid and APOE to diagnose the disease and, when used alongside other diagnostic techniques, could be a real help.

Although the results appear promising, Professor Kevin Morgan from the University of Nottingham said the test still had to be validated and it could be another decade before it is used in patients.

“Our findings are exciting because they show that it is technically possible to distinguish between healthy people and those with Alzheimer’s using a blood test.”

As blood tests are a quick and easy way of aiding diagnosis, researchers are encouraged by these findings and the benefits patients may look forward to in the future. Potentially a cheap and easy ‘pre-screen’ test, the new development could pick up Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear, and could confirm the disease in those who are suspected sufferers.

“Giving people with dementia an accurate diagnosis is not always easy and so building up our armoury of diagnostic techniques is vital”, said Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK.

While there is still some way to go before a test like this could become available, the results are promising”.

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