Scientists believe a blood test could detect the early signs of Alzheimer's
- 10 Mar
A study believes that a blood test can predict with 90% accuracy whether people will develop Alzheimer's within three years.
Researchers have found that changes in the blood may signify Alzheimer's disease in its earliest stages. The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, has identified ten molecules in blood with could be used to predict whether people will go on to develop mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's with 90% accuracy, reports the Guardian.
This research is the first that has been able to show differences in biomarkers in the blood between people with Alzheimer's, before the symptoms occur, and people who will not go on to develop the condition.
The findings have the potential to develop treatment strategies for Alzheimer's at an earlier stage, meaning therapy would be more effective at slowing or preventing onset symptoms.
Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Centre have examined 525 healthy participants aged 70 and over and have monitored them for five years. Over the course of the research, 28 participants went on to develop the conditions and only 46 were diagnosed at the start of the study. Halfway through the research the authors analysed 53 patients who already had one of the conditions and 53 "cognitively normal" people.
The researchers discovered that ten molecules that appeared to reveal the breakdown of neural cell membranes in participants who developed symptoms of cognitive impairment of Alzheimer's. They then tested other participants' blood to see whether these biomarkers could predict whether or not they would go on to develop the conditions.
"The lipid panel was able to distinguish with 90% accuracy these two distinct groups: cognitively normal participants who would progress to MCI or AD within two to three years, and those who would remain normal in the near future," said one of the study's authors, Professor Howard Federoff. "Our novel blood test offers the potential to identify people at risk for progressive cognitive decline and can change how patients, their families and treating physicians plan for and manage the disorder. The preclinical state of the disease offers a window of opportunity for timely disease-modifying intervention. Biomarkers such as ours that define this asymptomatic period are critical for successful development and application of these therapeutics. We consider our results a major step toward the commercialisation of a preclinical disease biomarker test that could be useful for large-scale screening to identify at-risk individuals. We're designing a clinical trial where we'll use this panel to identify people at high risk for Alzheimer's to test a therapeutic agent that might delay or prevent the emergence of the disease."
Dr Simon Ridley, head of research at charity Alzheimer's Research UK, said: "Alzheimer's disease begins to develop long before symptoms such as memory loss appear, but detecting the disease at this pre-symptomatic stage has so far proved difficult. More work is needed to confirm these findings, but a blood test to identify people at risk of Alzheimer's would be a real step forward for research."
Dr Doug Brown, director of research and development at the Alzheimer's Society, added: "Having such a test would be an interesting development, but it also throws up ethical considerations. If this does develop in the future people must be given a choice about whether they would want to know, and fully understand the implications. This research could also give clues on how Alzheimer's disease occurs and warrants further study, but as such a small number of people showed dementia symptoms there need to be larger studies with different populations before it could be turned into a blood test for Alzheimer's disease."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1254880
- 10 Aug
New social enterprise to help adults with vulnerabilities
Aspire Community Benefit Society is taking over the council’s Learning Disability Service for a five year contract, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.This new model will see the Learning...
- 30 Jul
New app hopes to bring smarter housing for social landlords
The ZONR app combines the latest intelligent sensor technology, smart data transmission and decision engine analytics to centrally monitor and support heating systems across social landlord’s...
- 05 May
New model of care homes in Wakefield to go ahead
WDH's vision was being able to help people live longer, healthier lives and see support by co-ordinated services delivered as close to their homes as possible under the banner of ‘Connecting Care',...
- 29 Dec
App to support young people with autism with social interactions
This new app launched by Samsung aims to help treat the inability to make eye contact. The app, called Look at Me, has been developed with Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and Yonsei...
- 27 Oct
3D maps could help people with visual impairments navigate cities
The official mapping body for Japan GSI have already developed paper maps for those with visual impairments using embossed surfaces to mark out roads, and is now planning a programme which will do...
- 21 Oct
A paralysed man has been able to walk again following cell transplant
Darek Fidyka, who was paralysed from the chest down following a knife attack in 2010, is now able to walk using a frame, reports the BBC. The treatment is a world first and was carried out by...
- 08 Jul
Breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer's cure
An international collaboration led by scientists from King's College London and Proteome Sciences has published a study identifying a set of ten proteins in the blood. This test will then predict the...
- 04 Jul
Trials for Alzheimer's disease is declining
US scientists have said there is an urgent need to increase the number of potential therapies being investigated. They say that only one new medicine has been approved since 2004, reports the BBC.The...
- 02 May
Study into the possibility of delaying the onset of dementia
One third of a million adults in the UK are taking part in a trial, funded by the Medical Research Council to try to predict what factors increases the risk of a person developing dementia.Each of...
- 26 Feb
Phantom limb pain eased by virtual arm
Through the use of a computer-generate augmented reality patients can see and move a virtual arm controlled by their stump. Electric signals form the muscles in the amputated limb communicate with...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Sevices Extremely informative, excellent speaker. Alison Halstead - Riverside ECHG