American researchers have developed a blood test to detect Alzheimer’s disease. If it is validated, it could replace an expensive MRI or a painful and invasive lumbar puncture, the only techniques that currently make it possible to reveal the existence of the disease.
That Alzheimer’s disease could it soon be diagnosed by a simple blood test? Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States have developed a blood test that is able to accurately determine the presence of the disease in a patient.
The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, is still difficult to diagnose. To detect this neurodegenerative disease, three markers must be identified: abnormal accumulations of amyloid and Tau proteins and neurodegenerationor the progressive loss of neuronal cells in specific areas of the brain. Tests performed using a cerebral MRI and/or an analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) taken by lumbar puncture. Problem: Despite their effectiveness, brain imaging techniques are expensive and wait times are often long, even in an emergency setting. Lumbar puncture can be invasive and painful, causing headaches and lower back pain.
This blood test could therefore be more accessible and, above all, detect the disease earlier. “A blood test is cheaper, safer and easier to administer, and may improve clinical confidence in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease.”told Guardian Professor Thomas Karikari, from the University of Pittsburgh in the USA, who participated in the study.
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