Blood test for Alzheimer’s on the horizon


At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2020, scientists from the US and Sweden announced early results of a study  using  a simple blood test to detect Alzheimer’s with up to 96% accuracy.


The test identifies a specific form of tau protein p-tau217, which appears identify the presence of Alzheimer’s pathology 20 years before symptoms of the condition first appear.


Alzheimer’s is characterised by the abnormal accumulation of amyloid and tau proteins in the brain, which prevent the cognitive brain cells from working normally; eventually these brain cells die. Changes in the brain appear long before the symptoms are evident and changes are visible on brain scans.


Dr Emer MacSweeney comments, “This is an exciting development in Alzheimer’s research; in the near future, it could help to identify, much earlier and more easily, the cause of memory loss and related cognitive symptoms due to Alzheimer’s and thereby enable people to seek out the best treatments and management of their health, as soon as possible. In particular, it will identify individuals, as early as possible, who could potentially benefit from new treatments, still in development, in clinical trials. Unlike the medications on the market, today, many of these new treatments are designed to treat the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s and thereby slow down, or ideally, halt progression of disease and symptoms.

In the future, once these new medications are available on the market, it is hoped, as for all diseases, that detection of Alzheimer’s can occur before symptoms present and people at risk can be treated at that very early stage and prevent, or very significantly delay, the onset of memory loss and other cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer’s.”


At Re:Cognition Health we are passionate about educating the public on the importance of an early diagnosis and this simple blood could really be a game changer in how we identify and treat Alzheimer’s in the future.”


Whilst these results are very promising more studies need to be conducted, but we are very much looking forward to following the progress and are excited about the benefit this will have for the future.


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