10 proteins have been discovered in the blood that could indicate the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers predict that someday, a simple blood test could tell a patient if he or she will develop Alzheimer’s even before symptoms have appeared.
King’s College London published a study on these proteins, claiming that they were able to predicate Alzheimer’s disease with 87 percent accuracy. Their study is published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Prior to this, it was found that 26 proteins are linked with Alzheimer’s disease. However, after this latest study, which involved over 1,100 people, it became apparent that 10 of those proteins can actually predict the disease. If those proteins levels are analyzed, the researchers can accurately predict if a patient will develop Alzheimer’s in almost 9 out of 10 cases.
Although there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, if it is caught soon enough, patients make drugs that can help. Being able to predict if a person will develop the disease would allow for more people to catch it early enough to take drugs to help delay symptoms.
“You take a drug, and in effect you would have the clinical symptoms prevented — even if the disease has already started in your brain,” Professor Simon Lovestone, the senior author of the study from the University of Oxford, said.
Currently, around 5.1 Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. The disease is fatal, and can be incredibly costly for family members. It is estimated that Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia cost around$215 billion each year.