Alzheimer’s Blood Test

March 14, 2014 | By Lorenzo Mejia

Scientists report that a new blood test has the capability of identifying people who may develop Alzheimer’s disease within two or three years. Researchers claim that the test has a greater that 90 percent accuracy.

The scientists who developed the test extracted blood samples from hundreds of septuagenarians. Then they looked to see who developed Alzheimer’s within a five-year time frame.

After sifting through thousands of markers, the research team identified certain lipids that seem to indicate that the person will indeed develop this form of dementia.

It’s hard to know if this is good.  Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.  If you know that you will develop it, what do you do?

It’s possible that you can arrange for care in advance.  For example, you could move into an assisted living facility knowing that you will likely require that type of service. However, moving into assisted living could be premature.  Alzheimer’s manifests itself differently with different individuals, which means that the need for care may vary as well.  You might be spending a number of years in a facility without needing to do so.

Our client families all the time want to know the type of dementia Mom or Dad has.  Knowledge is power, right?  Unfortunately, there are no cures, so it’s all about the care.  And the care for a dementia sufferer is very similar, whether she has Alzheimer’s, fronto-temporal dementia, Lewy-Body disease or some other form.

So, what good does it do you to know that you have a 9 out of 10 chance of developing Alzheimer’s in the next three years?

It’s exciting that researchers have uncovered the relationships in blood chemistry that make this test possible.  It opens the door to identifying the cause of the disease.  Absent that, we are not sure what value it brings.

 

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