"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Inexpensive blood test can check for Alzheimer's disease: study

Jan. 23, 2024 — A blood test already available available on the market is sort of as accurate as more invasive tests like lumbar punctures at detecting potential signs of Alzheimer's disease, a brand new study shows.

The test looks for a protein within the blood called p-tau217, and the independent researchers found that giant changes on this biomarker also indicate changes in known Alzheimer's disease biomarkers called amyloid beta and tau. The blood test was 97% accurate, and researchers found that about 20% of study participants would want follow-up tests to substantiate whether or not they had clear signs of Alzheimer's.

Currently, probably the most accurate tests to diagnose Alzheimer's disease and detect amyloid beta and tau involve cerebrospinal fluid collection or highly sensitive imaging techniques equivalent to PET scans. For many individuals, it may well be difficult to get these tests done because they're expensive or because they lack access, for instance because they live removed from where the tests can be found. The blood test utilized in the study is conducted by California-based ALZpath Inc CNN reported that the test could cost between $200 and $500.

The study was published Monday within the Journal JAMA Neurology. It was led by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and King's College London, who analyzed data from 786 people.

They wrote that blood testing for p-tau217 could play an “important role…as an initial screening tool in the treatment of cognitive impairment,” noting that the test could help discover individuals who may benefit from existing treatments , which goal amyloids within the brain.

Alzheimer's disease is probably the most common type of dementia, affecting 6.7 million people ages 65 and older within the United States. The number is estimated to rise to 14 million by 2060, the study said CDC. Older adults often experience minor changes in memory, pondering, and reasoning skills. However, severe changes that affect on a regular basis life is usually a sign of dementia.

The authors explained that “the use of a blood biomarker is intended to make an early and precise diagnosis.” [Alzheimer’s disease] diagnosis, resulting in improved patient management and ultimately timely access to disease-modifying therapies.” However, they cautioned that further studies are needed to use their findings to the overall population, especially because a 3rd of individuals within the study have already got a cognitive impairment had been diagnosed.