Breakthrough blood test for Alzheimer's cure
- 08 Jul
A blood test used to detect which people with failing memories will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease has been developed.
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 onset of Alzheimer's in the next twelve months in people with memory problems with 87% accuracy, reports the Guardian.
David Cameron recently announced a drive to discover new drugs for dementia, which he said "stands alongside cancer as one of the greatest enemies of humanity".
This new test is aimed at people with memory loss called mild cognitive impairment, 60% of whom will go on to develop dementia. These are the type of people scientists wish to recruit into trials to prevent or at least delay the onset of Alzheimer's.
"Alzheimer's begins to affect the brain many years before patients are diagnosed with the disease," said Professor Simon Lovestone from King's College. "Many of our drug trials fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected. A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments which could prevent the progression of the disease."
The researchers investigated 26 proteins which have all been linked to Alzheimer's in the past. Writing in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia, they say they took blood samples from 1,148 individuals, of whom 476 had Alzheimer's disease, 220 had mild cognitive impairment and 452 were elderly but without dementia.
"The next step will be to validate our findings in further sample sets, to see if we can improve accuracy and reduce the risk of misdiagnosis, and to develop a reliable test suitable to be used by doctors," said Lovestone.
Dr Eric Karran, science director at the charity Alzheimer's Research UK, which helped fund the research, said a test identifying those at risk of Alzheimer's at an early stage would be of "real value", but warned that it would have to be used responsibly. "Alzheimer's disease is now the most feared diagnosis. We have to be very careful about how we use these tests, especially in the absence of effective therapy."
Dr James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said: "Finding a way to detect dementia before symptoms develop would revolutionise research into the condition. However, this research does not mean that a blood test for dementia is just around the corner. These 10 proteins can predict conversion to dementia with less than 90% accuracy, meaning one in 10 people would get an incorrect result. Therefore, accuracy would need to be improved before it could be a useful diagnostic test. Only through further research will we find answers to the biggest questions around dementia, so we will watch the progress of this study with interest."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.freeimages.com/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...
- 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...
- 10 Mar
Scientists believe a blood test could detect the early signs of Alzheimer's
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...
- 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...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "Sincere thanks to Michael Patterson for an excellent presentation on the HB Reform issues in Leeds last week, and for all the very helpful info and links. I do intend to respond on behalf of our organisation, Caring For Life, but feel that Support Solutions' response is excellent." E.S. - Caring for Life