A lab in Germany has developed a blood test that can be useful in detecting the early warning signs and risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The story was first reported by EMBO.org
The article by EMBO goes on to explain how the test works and what it detects in a person’s blood.
“One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is the accumulation of amyloid-β plaques in the patient’s brain. The blood test, developed by Klaus Gerwert and his team at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, works by measuring the relative amounts of a pathological and a healthy form of amyloid-β in the blood. They found that the test reliably detected amyloid-β alterations in the blood of participants with mild cognitive impairment that also showed abnormal amyloid deposits in brain scans.”
Since the development of Alzheimer’s is believed to start well before symptoms begin, this test will allow at risk individuals to be aware of the condition and seek medical attention when the disease itself begins.
This groundbreaking discovery should also help the development of Alzheimer’s disease medication. With more people being aware of their risk, drug companies can develop new drugs and have more people to begin testing the drugs on.
According to EMBO, the test can also be administered to Parkinson’s disease by searching for the biomarker α-synuclein instead of amyloid-β.