A new blood test can help predict the possible onset of Alzheimer’s disease three years in advance, scientists say. The test is based on extensively studying the results of 525 healthy adults and is 96% accurate.
The study on which this test is based includes studying blood samples of 525 healthy adults, aged above 70. Once their blood samples were collected, their health was tracked for the next five years. After five years, it was discovered that some 28 participants had either developed Alzheimer’s or were showing the early symptoms of the disease.
Scientists then went back to their old blood samples to see how the 28 individuals can be identified based on the components of their blood. It was then that they found out the relatively lower levels of 10 specific lipids in their blood. Other individuals who didn’t develop Alzheimer’s after five years had healthy levels of these lipids.
Based on these findings, scientists can finally determine the possibility of Alzheimer’s disease in the next three years in any given person. All they have to do is draw a blood sample and see the levels of the aforementioned 10 lipids. If these are all low, there is a high likelihood of the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Many have questioned whether such knowledge of Alzheimer’s, in advance, will be of any use to the patients. According to the lead author of the study, Howard Federoff, who is also a neurologist at Georgetown University, “We may not have any therapy yet but there are things we can do — we can get our financial and legal affairs in order, plan for future care, and inform family members.”
Being informed about it in advance can also help future patients make medical arrangements, evolve their lifestyles accordingly and integrate adequate support elements into their lives. This will help them put up with Alzheimer’s better.