We may be closer to an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to a blood test. Developed by the Lund University, Sweden, the new test shows a high potential in identifying people with Alzheimer’s disease. In people with known genetical risk, it may be able to detect the disease as early as 20 years before the onset. The findings were tested in a large international study, as reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Alzheimer’s can be conclusively diagnosed only after a patient has died and a doctor can confirm it through an autopsy. Hence, doctors usually rely on multiple tests to identify its presence. We can confirm Alzheimer’s to an almost 90 percent accuracy. However, these tests can be carried out only after the disease has already made its presence. Hence, a test that can predict Alzheimer’s with very high accuracy years before its onset has a very high significance. It can make a huge impact on Alzheimer’s research, its treatment, and its outcome.
To probe the efficacy of the blood test, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional study. This included 3 cohorts with 1402 participants. The team had access to the blood samples and other biomarkers from the participants of these cohorts. The study showed a very high accuracy across the different cohorts with close to 98 percent accuracy in some cases. In one case, it could predict the disease 20 years before their estimated age of mild cognitive decline.