Study: Blood test for Alzheimer detects signs 20 years before memory, thinking falter

Research presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference indicated that a new blood test can accurately detect Alzheimer disease (AD).

Research presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference indicated that a new blood test can accurately detect Alzheimer disease (AD). A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the blood test could detect signs of the disease 20 years before cognitive problems were predicted in a group of people who carry a rare genetic mutation. Randall J. Bateman, MD, a Washington University neurology professor, says blood tests could be useful for studying potential new drugs to slow the disease. Doctors might use the test to accurately diagnose AD earlier and begin treatments with existing FDA-approved drugs that ease symptoms. Oskar Hansson of Lund University in Sweden led a study of Eli Lilly's test measuring the tau protein on more than 1,400 people already enrolled in dementia studies in Sweden, Arizona, and Colombia. The studies included people with no impairment, mild impairment, AD, and other neurological diseases. The p-tau217 test outperformed other measures for indicating which patients had AD, as verified by brain scans.