There’s a silver lining for those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia and their caregivers. The good news is that researchers are coming closer to creating a simple blood test that’ll diagnose Alzheimer’s disease even before the symptoms show up.
A study published in the journal JAMA Neurology found that a blood-based biomarker test called Elecsys correctly identified people with beta-amyloid plaques with 80 percent accuracy.
What are Beta-amyloid Plaques?
These are proteins that gunk up the brain and cause neuron death and are a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Elecsys Blood Test Study
For this study, the researchers investigated whether the Elecsys blood test could accurately predict whether beta-amyloid has started to accumulate in people’s brains, even before symptoms show up.
This study was developed by Roche Diagnostics and researchers at Lund University, Sweden.
For the study, they collected blood samples from 842 people in Sweden and 237 people in Germany who were either Alzheimer’s patients with dementia, healthy elderly people, or people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
The blood test proved accurate 80 percent of the time and was 5 percent more accurate when they factored in the presence of the ApoE4 gene – the most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s.