In what only can be described as a medical miracle, scientists have created an astonishing new blood test that is able to detect Alzheimer’s disease up to 20 years in advance and with 98 percent accuracy.
In an ingenious new approach to detecting Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have created a way of detecting the degenerative process up to two decades before memory begins to decline, with a new blood test that researchers say is 98 percent accurate, Daily Mail reports.
Researchers call the test “extremely important” in terms of developing treatments, as well as the hope that the blood test may one day be used as a screening method in identifying the disease progress, much in the way that doctors now use blood tests in determining high cholesterol and potential heart disease.
Scientists identified a protein that is involved in damaging brain cells. The protein, identified as p-tau217, begins to abnormally clump in the brains of people who are developing Alzheimer’s disease. Tiny fragments of the protein start to leak into the bloodstream. As p-tau217 begins to accumulate in the blood, researchers found that it can be detected.
Therefore, scientists developed a blood test that measured the amount of the protein p-tau217 in the bloodstream. The test proved to be 98 percent accurate at identifying those who were developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say the test can detect the development of Alzheimer’s up to 20 years in advance, even before memory begins to decline.
There are over than 3 million cases of Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed in the United States every year. Alzheimer’s disease causes memory loss and mental confusion. Currently, there is no cure for the condition. Alzheimer’s is a chronic condition that can last for years or persist throughout one’s lifetime.
Alzheimer’s disease causes both brain cell connections and brain cells to degenerate and eventually die. The result is mental deterioration in the affected person.
The development of this new test, which is still not publicly available, may change how Alzheimer’s disease is detected and diagnosed. Currently, however, there are no types of lab testing or imaging that is required for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Typically, a physician will make a medical diagnosis based on symptoms in determining that a person has Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms include: mental decline, difficulty thinking, difficulty comprehending, confusion, delusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, inability to make new memories, inability to do simple math, difficulties with recognition of common things, making things up.
Alzheimer’s can also sometimes affect coordination, especially combined muscle movements, as well as cause jumbled speech. Alzheimer’s can also affect moods and create mood swings. Some Alzheimer’s patients suffer depression, hallucination or paranoia.