A Blood Test That May Warn of Alzheimer’s Sooner

Reader's Digest - - How To Maintain Your Purpose In Life -

The only way to catch Alzheimer’s early— al­low­ing treat­ment to slow the pro­gres­sion of symp­toms—is through ex­pen­sive imag­ing or in­va­sive tests. Now re­searchers have de­vel­oped a blood test that they hope will spot the amy­loid beta that forms brain plaque, a hall­mark of the dis­ease. Work­ing with archived blood that had been col­lected be­tween July 2000 and De­cem­ber 2002 from par­tic­i­pants in a study of adults ages 50 to 75, they com­pared sam­ples from 65 peo­ple who were later di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s to more than 800 con­trols. The new test cor­rectly iden­ti­fied those with the dis­ease in al­most 70 per­cent of the cases—and it would have done so as many as eight years be­fore they re­ceived their di­ag­no­sis us­ing the cur­rent tests.

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