Blood test for Alzheimer's only few years away, researchers say

An experimental blood test proved effective at diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and could hit the market in two to three years, offering a cheaper and less invasive method to diagnose the illness, reports The New York Times. 

The blood test successfully determined whether patients' dementia was due to Alzheimer's or another condition, according to a study published in JAMA and presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference this week.

To assess the test's accuracy, researchers tested blood samples from 1,402 patients in Sweden, Columbia and the U.S. between 2007 and 2019. The blood test diagnosed Alzheimer's more accurately than MRI brain scans and on par with PET scans or spinal taps. It was also nearly as accurate as autopsies of people's brains, which the Times' called the "most definitive diagnostic method."

Researchers and other experts predicted that this type of blood test could be ready for clinical use in just two to three years. The test would offer a major breakthrough in Alzheimer's care, allowing clinicians to diagnose far more patients at a lower cost, according to the Times. Eventually, such a test may also be able to predict whether an asymptomatic person will develop Alzheimer's, experts said.

To view the full study, click here.

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