There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease but researchers are coming close to developing a blood test that would predict who is likely to develop dementia. Lead study author Dr. Abdul Hye from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said in a statement, “Memory problems are very common, but the challenge is identifying who is likely to develop dementia.”
A team of researchers have identified 10 proteins in the blood that can predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, with an accuracy rate of 87 percent. Researchers examined blood samples from 1,148 people: 476 with Alzheimer’s, 220 with ‘Mild Cognitive Impairment’ (MCI) and 452 who did not have dementia. After two rounds of testing, researchers narrowed down 26 proteins, previously associated with brain shrinkage, to 10 proteins that were able to predict which people with MCI would eventually get Alzheimer’s within a year.
“There are thousands of proteins in the blood, and this study is the culmination of many years’ work identifying which ones are clinically relevant. We now have a set of 10 proteins that can predict whether someone with early symptoms of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment, will develop Alzheimer’s disease within a year, with a high level of accuracy,” Hye said. This is considered a major breakthrough and is a significant step toward the development of a blood test for Alzheimer’s.