‘We Need Something Quicker And Dirtier’: Scientists Excited About Possibility Of A Simple Alzheimer’s Blood Test
Doctors want a test that they can order during a routine exam to help catch Alzheimer's early. "In the past year we've seen a dramatic acceleration in progress" on these tests, said Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging.
The Associated Press:
Scientists Close In On Blood Test For Alzheimer's
Scientists are closing in on a long-sought goal — a blood test to screen people for possible signs of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. On Monday at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference, half a dozen research groups gave new results on various experimental tests, including one that seems 88% accurate at indicating Alzheimer's risk. (7/15)
Los Angeles Times:
Blood Test For Alzheimer’s Disease Moves Closer To Becoming A Reality
Doctors are hoping for something to use during routine exams, where most dementia symptoms are evaluated, to gauge who needs more extensive testing. Current tools such as brain scans and spinal fluid tests are too expensive or impractical for regular checkups. "We need something quicker and dirtier. It doesn't have to be perfect" to be useful for screening, said Maria Carrillo, the Alzheimer's Assn.'s chief science officer. Dr. Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, called the new results "very promising" and said blood tests soon will be used to choose and monitor people for federally funded studies. It will take a little longer to establish their value in routine medical care, he said. (Marchione, 7/15)
The Wall Street Journal:
Should You Find Out If You’re At Risk Of Alzheimer’s?
Everyone has two copies of the apolipoprotein E, or APOE, gene—one inherited from each parent. There are three variants of the gene. The e4 variant is associated with a heightened Alzheimer’s risk. About 20% of the population has one or two copies of the e4 variant, said Rudy Tanzi, professor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and co-director of the McCance Center for Brain Health. One copy increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease three- to four-fold, according to studies. About 2% of the world’s population has two copies of the e4 variant, which can increase the risk by as much as 14-fold, Dr. Tanzi said. (Reddy, 7/15)