A easy finger prick blood test may assist diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, in keeping with analysis revealed this week on the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Amsterdam.
The blood test is just like the glucose testing methodology used by folks with diabetes. Instead of sugar, nevertheless, it measures Alzheimer’s-related proteins within the mind, in keeping with a information launch from the Alzheimer’s Association.
The test was greater than 80% correct in figuring out dementia-related adjustments, which was considerably higher than medical doctors who didn’t have entry to the test, a examine discovered.
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An added good thing about the finger prick test: It can be carried out at dwelling simply with out a lot of preparation or processing, in keeping with Hanna Huber, PhD, of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry on the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, who carried out a examine of the test.
“Currently, use of Alzheimer’s blood tests is limited by the need to visit a clinic, administration by trained personnel, and strict time-limited and temperature-dependent delivery and storage procedures,” Huber mentioned within the launch.
“A method that allows blood collection at home and that is simple enough to be performed independently, or by caregivers, would increase the accessibility of these tests,” she additionally mentioned.
“It would result in improved early diagnosis and better monitoring of patients considered ‘at risk’ or those who are receiving approved therapies.”
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not too long ago accepted a drug that targets an Alzheimer’s-associated beta-amyloid protein within the mind.
Before a affected person can obtain the treatment, the doctor should first affirm the presence of the protein.
This is the place the brand new finger prick blood test might be helpful, in keeping with Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, chief science officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, who relies in Chicago, Illinois.
“Blood tests — once verified and approved — would offer a quick, non-invasive and cost-effective option,” she mentioned within the information launch.
Currently, blood assessments are getting used to display screen contributors in Alzheimer’s drug trials.
In some instances, the assessments present information just like what’s present in mind scans and evaluation of cerebrospinal fluid, the discharge mentioned.
“While further standardization and validation are needed, blood tests may soon be an important piece of the diagnostic workup in everyday practice for detecting and monitoring treatment of Alzheimer’s disease,” Carrillo mentioned.
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These blood assessments might doubtlessly assist major care physicians present sooner and extra correct diagnoses, per the report.
A staff of researchers analyzed information from 307 middle-aged to aged sufferers at 17 major care facilities in Sweden.
In the examine, the major care physicians supplied their diagnoses and urged treatment after seeing sufferers of their clinics, the place cognitive testing and an MRI or CT scan have been carried out.
Researchers additionally took a blood pattern that regarded for beta-amyloid and phosphorylated tau, that are markers related to the mind disease.
Participants then underwent a thorough medical examination at a specialised reminiscence clinic.
The physicians accurately identified Alzheimer’s or Alzheimer’s-related adjustments in roughly 55% of the instances, whereas the blood test did so in additional than 85% of the instances, in keeping with the discharge.
More than 50% of the individuals who truly had Alzheimer’s didn’t obtain symptomatic treatment — and 30% of non-Alzheimer’s instances incorrectly obtained treatment as a consequence of incorrect diagnoses.
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“Due to the lack of accurate diagnostic tools, it is currently very difficult for primary care doctors to identify Alzheimer’s disease, even among patients with cognitive impairment,” mentioned lead researcher Sebastian Palmqvist, M.D., PhD, of the Clinical Memory Research Unit at Lund University in Sweden, within the launch.
“This, too, often leads to diagnostic uncertainty and inappropriate treatment,” he continued. “Blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease have great potential for improving diagnostic accuracy and proper treatment of people with Alzheimer’s.”
As new medication that decelerate the disease in its early phases turn out to be extra broadly out there, these assessments may turn out to be much more vital, the researcher mentioned within the launch.
Dr. Nikhil Palekar, director of Stony Brook Medicine’s Center of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease in New York, was not a part of the examine however attended the convention in Amsterdam.
“This is a major game-changer in diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s.”
“This is a major game-changer in diagnosing patients with Alzheimer’s,” Palekar informed Fox News Digital.
“It’s a simple blood test that can detect amyloid and tau proteins in the blood with an accuracy as good as an amyloid PET scan at a fraction of the cost,” he continued.
“I see blood-based testing to be immensely helpful in early diagnosis, and potentially monitoring the progression of symptoms.”
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Mary P. of Long Island, New York, who withheld her final identify for privateness, has a mom who was not too long ago identified with moderate-stage dementia. The household needed to wait for months to see a neurologist and undergo testing earlier than getting a diagnosis, she informed Fox News Digital.
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“I wish we’d had this blood test at the time — maybe we could have started the treatment if we caught it earlier,” she mentioned.
“Now it’s too late for my mother, since the disease has progressed and the drugs aren’t appropriate for her at her current stage.”
She added, “Maybe she’d have a better quality of life now.”