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Blood Test Could Help Predict Alzheimer’s

A blood test that is very simple could potentially predict whether a person who is healthy could develop dementia symptoms within the next three years, said promising research.

The blood test could fill in a big gap in the strategies to fight brain degeneration, which doctors believe does not show its symptoms until a stage when most often it is too late to effectively treat.

The findings said researchers were potentially very positive as they said they are desperately in need of biomarkers that would allow the patients to first be identified and then recruited into clinical trials prior to the beginning of their symptoms.

Howard Federoff a Neurologist from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. along with his team of researchers tested the memory and cognitive skills of participants and took samples of blood from them once a year over a period of five years.

The test that was found to work was identified during one of the preliminary studies that involved more than 525 people all above the age of 70.

The work identified a group of 10 lipid metabolites in the blood plasma of the patients that distinguished with an accuracy of 90% between those would remain healthy cognitively from those who would start to show signs of impairment cognitively over a period of time.

The researchers said they did not know the actual source yet of the 10 molecules but do know they usually are present in the cell membranes, said the neurologist.

The doctor emphasized that the results of the study would need to be validated through independent labs and in studies that were much larger in size. The study has been published online in the Nature Medicine journal.

Healthcare officials worldwide are worried about the increasing number of cases of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Some believe that unless a treatment can be found to slow the illness down that it will end up costing billions of dollars in treatment in both private and public healthcare worldwide.

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