Fighting Alzheimer’s, new blood test would detect pathology up to 20 years early
A new test, which was developed by a team of scientists from Australia and Japan, could detect the disease 20 years before the onset of symptoms. A new silver lining in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists are getting closer to implementing a revolutionary blood test after discovering a new way to detect one of the earliest signs of the degenerative disease.
For decades, scientists around the world have been trying to develop blood tests to detect Alzheimer's early in hopes of replacing the expensive and often invasive brain scans and lumbar punctures currently used to diagnose the most common form of dementia.
A team of Australian and Japanese scientists now claims to have developed the most accurate test for detecting one of the main indicators of Alzheimer's disease, an abnormal accumulation of a brain protein known as beta-amyloid. One of the researchers Colin Masters, professor of neuroscience at the Florey Institute in Melbourne, says the blood test is 90 percent more accurate than any Alzheimer’s test, and is based on a study involving 252 Australian and 121 Japanese patients.
Fighting Alzheimer’s disease starts 30 years earlier
Can detect beta-amyloid concentration in people without any outward signs of Alzheimer's, including memory loss, as well as those with moderate symptoms and full dementia. The disease of Alzheimer's disease begins development about 30 years before overt symptoms emerge. While up to 40 % of Australians over 70 are considered at risk of Alzheimer's disease, companies pharmaceuticals have had little success in addressing the underlying causes. The new analysis of the blood has boosted hopes for the possibility of aiding the development of new drugs because of Of its ability to identify those most at risk of Alzheimer's disease – the perfect participants for clinical trials of new therapies. Even for those at risk of Alzheimer's disease, it could give a valuable contribution in slowing its onset by regulating sleep, exercise and diet.
The details of the new test, which was developed by Nobel laureate Dr. Koichi Tanaka at the company's of Japanese medical technology company Shimadzu Corporation, were published in the prestigious journal Nature. Using high-tech mass spectrometry techniques, Japanese scientists and Australians have identified patients with a "red peptide" in their blood plasma, indicating a beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain.
Professor Masters, who spent 30 years researching a test for Alzheimer's disease, said mass spectrometry was more sensitive and accurate at detecting beta-amyloid levels than animal brain scans and lumbar punctures. In short, a new hope in the fight of this dreaded disease that beyond the positive effects of early diagnosis in patients, for Giovanni D’Agata, president of the "Sportello dei Diritti" could open new frontiers in research to fight and eradicate it.