Soon, a simple blood test should be enough to determine whether you have Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is most common form of dementiabut diagnosis remains a challengeespecially in early stages of the disease. To diagnose the disease, three elements must be examined: abnormal accumulations of two specific proteins and neurodegeneration, the slow loss of neuronal cells in certain parts of the brain.
This can be done through a combination ofimaging of the brain and D’cerebrospinal fluid analysis taken from the lower back by a puncture. However, a lumbar puncture can be painful, while imaging the brain is expensive and time-consuming. Nevertheless, it allows detect abnormal accumulations of amyloid plaques and tau proteins.
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Why is this a big step forward?
Soon a simple blood test will be enough to determine if you have Alzheimer’s disease. If the test is validated, the disease can be diagnosed more quickly, which will make it possible to start therapies earlier. The technique developed by Professor Thomas Karikari and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) makes it possible to detect a specific form of Tau protein, called Tau, which originates in the brain. This is specific to Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers, who detailed their findings in the review Brainfound that the recorded levels were consistent with those in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and with the data collected on the brain tissue of people who died as a result of this pathology.
The development of such a blood test would be a important step forward in the fight against the disease. “A blood test is cheaper, safer and easier to administer, and it can improve clinical confidence in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and selecting participants in clinical trials and monitoring the disease.”stresses the researcher i Guardian.