According to a study published in the journal Neurology, the test measures the level of accumulation of amyloid beta protein in the blood, and based on these levels, researchers can assess whether there is a risk of this protein accumulating in the brain as senile plaques. The study was conducted on a batch of 158 adults aged at least 50 years. A blood sample is taken from each participant and then subjected to an imaging procedure, positron emission tomography (PET).
The researchers divided the blood samples and PET results into two categories, depending on the presence or absence of beta protein amyloid, and noticed that the blood test result was the same as the PET test result in 88% of cases. Then, to improve the accuracy of the test, the researchers also included a number of major risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. Of these, age is the most prominent risk factor.
A genetic mutation called APOE4 also increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease 3 to 5 times. Gender is also important in this disease, given that two out of three Alzheimer's patients are women. Following the introduction of these risk factors in the analysis, the accuracy of the test increased to 94%. According to Agerpres, researchers hope that this blood test will become available in a few years. Its effectiveness will be greatly enhanced in the fight against this disease as new treatments emerge that will stop the evolution of the disease and the installation of dementia.
There is a growing consensus among neurologists that for best results, treatment for Alzheimer's should start as early as possible, ideally before the first symptoms of cognitive alienation appear. Usually, when patients begin to show the main symptom of the disease, memory loss, the brain is already severely affected and therapies can only slightly alleviate the symptoms.