According to recent research, it seems that it is possible, as a new type of blood test could indicate whether the disease will appear within one year with a degree of accuracy of 87%.
This is, without a doubt, a major discovery made by King’s College London and Oxford University, along with other research centres, in this great mission for the scientific community – the early detection of Alzheimer’s.
According to the team of researchers involved, a blood test could identify as many as 10 proteins whose presence would determine with an accuracy rate of almost 90% whether patients with mild cognitive impairment will develop Alzheimer’s over the following 12 months.
Extensive research offers encouraging results
To carry out this study, blood samples from 1,148 people were taken, of which 474 had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The test results showed that 220 individuals had mild cognitive impairment, while 452 were elderly people without dementia.
In the first analysis, up to 26 proteins that could be considered indicators of the disease were detected in the samples. Although, following subsequent processes, it came down to a final list of 10 proteins that are directly connected with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
As we have discussed in previous entries of this blog, one of the rallying points of Alzheimer’s is that the first manifestations may occur up to five years before the dementia phase of the disease reveals itself in all its harshness.
The first memory lapses, which, a priori, do not cause too much concern, and short-term memory disabilities that prevent us from keeping recent experiences fresh in our mind can serve as a wake-up call for patients and help the scientific community gain a better understanding of the initial stages of the disease when developing new drugs that may alleviate the cognitive decline.
At present, one of the issues that medical treatments face is that they are administered when the patient’s brain is already at an advanced stage of the disease, so the body’s response is rarely what would be expected.
It is the hope of this new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford and King’s College London, that it can encourage new people to participate in this type of research and can start new trials on which to build future treatments, which may not only reverse the problems of the disease, but will also help control their advance in more and more patients.
According to the team of researchers, there are plans to market this test within the next two years. The cost in economic terms could be between 125 and 377 euros. In any event, as is often the case in these matters, it would be necessary to carry out this test on a number of between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals before the test is made available.