Blood Test ‘Could Identify Early Signs Of Alzheimer’s Disease’

US Research Published In Nature Medicine

11.03.2014

Researchers in the US have claimed that new findings have demonstrated that a blood test may hold the key to accurately predicting the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the journal Nature Medicine, the research suggested that the risk of the disease developing in the next three years could be identified through the testing of 10 fats – also known as lipids – which are found in the blood.

It is now expected that wider clinical trials will be used to provide clarity and confirm the findings from the experts at Georgetown University in Washington, which were based on data from more than 500 people that was analysed across five years.

According to the researchers, the testing reached accuracy levels of 90 per cent.

Speaking to the BBC, Georgetown University Medical Centre professor of neurology Howard Federoff said there remained a “huge need” for the test to confirm the results.

Expert Opinion
While the development of an ability to forecast the onset of Alzheimer’s disease will have a host of benefits, specific advantages will undoubtedly emerge when it comes to planning for the future.

"For example, having some indication of what the future may hold will at least allow people to put measures in place in relation to their personal assets and finances – such as wills or a Lasting Power of Attorney for a loved one to take over responsibility of their affairs.

"We see numerous issues emerge between family members and friends of loved ones who have developed dementia or lost capacity to make key decisions over time and have not put measures in place outlining what should happen in the event of such issues.

"Not only can this cause much confusion, but it can also lead to costly and time-consuming disputes regarding a person’s affairs which can even end up in court.

"While we would always urge people to seriously consider this issue, at least a prior warning of the onset of such conditions will allow people to make informed decisions well ahead of time and ensure that loved ones are spared emotionally draining conflicts."
Paula Myers, Partner