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Blood test may predict early Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Over a quarter of a million people in the UK are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The disease not only has a devastating effect on the patient, but it also greatly impacts the lives of close relations and friends.

 

More and more research is being undertaken to understand this disease and the latest news has just come in from scientists at the Georgetown University Medical Centre in America.

They have developed a simple blood test that can detect whether a person will develop Alzheimer’s within three years.

While this is not the cure everyone is so hoping for; it has been described as a major breakthrough and could lead the way to developing new treatment for the disease in its early stages.

The details of the new blood test have just been published in the journal Nature Medicine which says that this is the first research able to show differences in biomarkers in blood between people who will and people who will not go on to suffer from Alzheimer’s. The study was based on a group of 525 healthy over 70 year olds who were monitored for five years.  The researchers found 10 molecules which appeared to reveal a breakdown of neural cell membranes in the participants who went on to develop  symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

The research could lead to widespread screening in middle-age to identify those most at risk. The lead author of the study, Howard Federoff, said the study was unique and stressed that while the research is still at its earliest stage, it provides an entirely new framework on which other scientists and researchers can now build.



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