Dr. Isaacson's At-Home Alzheimer's Disease Quiz
A New Test For Alzheimer's
More than 3 million women in the U.S. are believed to have Alzheimer’s disease, currently diagnosed with CT scans, MRIs, and medical and memory tests. But the only way to know for sure if someone had Alzheimer’s disease has been in an autopsy after death—that is, until now. German researchers have uncovered a non-invasive blood test that’s 93% accurate at distinguishing people with Alzheimer’s from those without the disease. It could one day hold the key to early diagnosis.
For the study, published today in the journalGenome Biology, researchers compared blood samples of 48 Alzheimer’s patients and 22 controls of the same age. By looking for a certain genetic pattern, the researchers were successfully able to determine who had Alzheimer’s and who didn’t.
A second larger study of 202 people found that the test could pick out other diseases, too. It was able to distinguish healthy controls from people with schizophrenia and depression with more than 95% accuracy, and was 75% accurate when it came to distinguishing people with Alzheimer’s from people with other forms of dementia.
The test still needs to go through clinical trials, and it will be at least 5 years before your doctor might be able to use the test on you, says study author Andreas Keller, Ph.D., a researcher at Siemens Healthcare.
Video: New Alzheimer's Test
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