Without symptoms, this new blood test can identify Alzheimer’s
Researchers from all over the world have experienced ups and downs in their quest to find a cure for the complex Alzheimer’s disease.
A test to identify a brand-new marker of neurodegeneration in a blood sample was created by a group of neuroscientists under the direction of a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researcher.
The study’s findings were released in the Brain journal on Wednesday.
The most prevalent form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, advances over time, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Doctors and experts claim that the disease progresses from mild memory loss to the inability to converse and react to the environment.
The illness affects areas of the brain responsible for thought, memory, and language.
Currently, diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease requires painful lumbar punctures and brain scanning for the patients.
Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) from the spinal cord is analysed during a lumbar puncture.
Additionally, studies show that the process of extracting CSF is painful and that patients may experience headache and back pain after the procedure.
Scientists claim that this new test eliminates the need for uncomfortable CSF testing.
“Trials must include participants from diverse backgrounds, not just those who reside nearby academic medical centres, in order to develop better drugs.
Prof. Thomas Karikari from the University of Pittsburgh said in a statement that a blood test is less expensive, safer, and simpler to administer, and it can increase clinical confidence in diagnosing Alzheimer’s and selecting participants for clinical trials and disease monitoring.
The test was created by the scientific team to identify a particular protein known as brain-derived tau. Particularly, this protein and Alzheimer’s disease are related.
A total of 600 patients with Alzheimer’s disease in various stages were enrolled in the study.
The scientists discovered that the protein levels discovered with the aid of the blood test and those discovered after CSF analysis are consistent.
Professors Oskar Hanssson of Lund University and Professor Kaj Blennow of the University of Gothenburg conducted another study, which was published on Tuesday.
They examined blood tests and discovered multiple blood biomarkers that were sufficient for detecting Alzheimer’s disease pathology, even in participants who had no symptoms.
According to Dr. Nicholas Ashton, first author of the study from the University of Gothenburg, “Different blood tests may be optimal for the identification of Alzheimer’s pathology or for monitoring disease progression and therefore, have different roles in clinical trials.”
The study’s findings were released on Tuesday in the journal Nature Medicine.