Samuel Case, FISM News
Doctors may be close to a breakthrough in the battle against Alzheimer’s – the degenerative brain disease that afflicts between 5 and 6 million Americans. A new blood test is shown to detect the disease with an accuracy between 89% and 98% and it is believed the test can identify Alzheimer’s up to 20 years before symptoms develop.
The test is designed to detect a specific form of protein, known as tau, and specifically a form of it called p-tau217. The NIH explains that in those with Alzheimer’s “tau accumulates, eventually forming tangles inside neurons.” Another protein called “beta-amyloid clumps into plaques, which slowly build up between neurons.” And “as the level of amyloid reaches a tipping point, there is a rapid spread of tau throughout the brain.”
According to a report by AP this blood test is nearly as accurate as the brain scans and spinal tests that are currently used for diagnosis. Experts on the disease are encouraged by the results of the study, but do warn that more experiments will be needed and it may be years before patients will have blood tests standardized as part of early detection.
Sourced from AP, CNN and NIH