Alzheimers Blood Tests Available In The Future
Another test thats shown promise is called the Simoa that also tests for proteins in blood plasma. Its the same idea as other blood tests: identify biomarkers in the blood that can usually only be seen via expensive or difficult exams including PET brain scans, MRIs, and spinal taps. The specific protein Simoa can detect is called ptau181, and has been linked to the changes caused by dementia in the brain.
In studies, the Simoa was found to be as good at predicting the development of dementia as PET scans and a spinal tap, without the cost, pain, or radioactivity associated with those tests. And the test can also detect upcoming dementia-caused brain changes in both the short and longer terms. Right now, this technology is used by researchers to identify people who are good candidates for clinical trials. It is not yet available for most patients.
Potential Breakthrough For Prevention And Treatment
Researchers hope that their findings lead to breakthroughs in treatment methods. Senior study author, Dr. Ed Goetzl, says:
My vision of the future is you have your breakfast cereal, and on one side you have a statin for cardiovascular disease and on the other side you have three pills to prevent dementia.
He went on to state that, This study shows that insulin resistance is a major central nervous system metabolic abnormality in Alzheimers disease that contributes to neural cell damage. As insulin resistance is a known condition in type 2 diabetes and is treatable with several classes of existing drugs, these treatments may be useful as part of a multi-agent program for Alzheimers.
The blood test is still in the early stages of development and will require a larger and longer study before it can be used to detect Alzheimers. The lead author of the study and neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, Dimitrios Kapagiannis, says: We will need replication and validation, but Im very optimistic this work will hold.
Do you think the newest blood test is a viable way to prevent Alzheimers disease? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
How The Blood Test For Dementia Works
Also known as the Precitivity AD, the C2N test or blood test for dementia uses mass spectrometry. An analytic technique used to detect specific beta-amyloid protein fragment that is one of the most common hallmarks of Alzheimers.
The beta-amyloid proteins normally accumulate and form plaques which can be seen on the brain 2 decades after an individual starts to notice they have memory issues.
The levels of beta-amyloid start to decline in the surrounding fluids as the plaques continue to build up in the brain. These changes can be measured in spinal fluid samples.
It is also possible to measure them in the blood where beta-amyloid concentrations are usually lower.
PrecivityAD is one of the first blood tests for Alzheimers that could enable early detection of the neurodegenerative illness.
HOPEFULLY, decades before the first symptoms appear.
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The Need For Fda Approval
Some concerns stem from the fact that the company has not obtained Food and Drug Administration approval. However, Holtzman says that CN Diagnostics is in the process of obtaining FDA approval for PrecivityAD.
It takes a lot longer to get FDA approval for anything so we started going through that process at least a year ago, says Holtzman. The company is confident that the test is very good and accurate and so we thought it would be valuable to make it available to patients if they want that information.
Blood Tests To Check For Other Conditions
Your GP will arrange for blood tests to help exclude other causes of symptoms that can be confused with dementia.
In most cases, these blood tests will check:
- liver function
- haemoglobin A1c
- vitamin B12 and folate levels
If your doctor thinks you may have an infection, they may also ask you to do a urine test or other investigations.
Read more about blood tests.
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Five Years Before Symptoms Appeared
Kaj Blennow is chief physician and professor at the section for psychiatry and neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg, and one of the researchers behind the test.
He told sciencenorway.no that the tests could detect elevated levels of the tau protein as early as five years before patients actually showed symptoms of Alzheimers.
The study participants included elderly individuals without symptoms, people with memory impairment and elderly individuals with dementia.
The people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s were on average 70 years old when they were tested.
But there is a great deal of variation as to when people get dementia. Some people get it in their 70s, others in their 80s, says Blennow.
A Blood Test For Alzheimer’s Markers For Tau Take Us A Step Closer
CHICAGO, JULY 28, 2020 A simple blood test for Alzheimerâs would be a great advance for individuals with â and at risk for â the disease, families, doctors and researchers.
At the Alzheimerâs Association International Conference® 2020, scientists reported results of multiple studies on advances in blood âtestsâ for abnormal versions of the tau protein, one of which may be able to detect changes in the brain 20 years before dementia symptoms occur. In particular, the reports focus on a specific form of tau known as p-tau217, which seems to be the most specific to Alzheimerâs and the earliest to show measurable changes.
Changes in brain proteins amyloid and tau, and their formation into clumps known as plaques and tangles, respectively, are defining physical features of Alzheimerâs disease in the brain. Buildup of tau tangles is thought to correlate closely with cognitive decline. In these newly reported results, blood/plasma levels of p-tau 217, one of the forms of tau found in tangles, also seem to correlate closely with buildup of amyloid.
Currently, the brain changes that occur before Alzheimerâs dementia symptoms appear can only be reliably assessed by positron-emission tomography scans, and from measuring amyloid and tau proteins in spinal fluid . These methods are expensive and invasive. And, too often, they are unavailable because they are not covered by insurance or difficult to access, or both.
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Are There Any Other Blood Tests For Alzheimers
There is another blood test for dementia that is showing great potential for diagnosing the progressive illness.
It is known as Simoa which stands for single-molecule array.
This is also designed to test if there are any proteins in the blood plasma. This test can detect a protein known as ptau181 which has been linked to some of the changes that dementia causes in the brain.
Various studies revealed that Simoa is as effective at predicting dementia development as a spinal tap and PET scans.
The Simoa blood test, however, ELIMINATES the pain, cost, and radioactivity that are associated with the other tests.
Simoa can also detect upcoming changes in the brain that are caused by dementia for both short and long-term i.e. 15 months and 4 years respectively.
At the moment, researchers are using this technology to identify ideal candidates for clinical trials because it is not yet available for many people with the illness.
Apart from Simoa, there are other types of blood tests that are still in development.
Other blood tests
Some are looking into fatty amides or protective fats in the blood.
Studies indicate that if there are increased levels of fatty amide in the blood, it may be an indication of the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain.
Researchers are also working on blood tests that will measure other proteins like the NfL and tau proteins.
Blood Tests Available Now
A blood test is available now, through your doctor, that delivers a result in about 10 days and accurately determines whether someone has Alzheimers disease. The Preclivity AD Test from C2N Diagnostics measures proteins in blood plasma that indicate a buildup of plaques known to cause dementia in peoples brains.
The cost of this Alzheimers blood test is $1,250, less expensive than a PET scan that looks for the same protein buildups. Unfortunately, the price tag cannot be covered by Medicare or Medicaid, but C2N says people who cant afford the test can qualify for a discount based on their income.
Does it Work?
C2N Diagnostics says they tested Preclivity AD in 686 people and compared it to the results of PET scans. When PET scans showed a high amount of amyloid-beta, a protein that turns to plaques and tangles in the brains of people with Alzheimers, the blood test agreed 92 percent of the time. When the PET scan showed no amyloid, the blood test showed the same about 77 percent of the time.
How to Get the Blood Test
The Preclivity AD Test has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is currently available only through a doctor, and can be sold by the company under rules for commercial laboratories. The test, in other words, is available despite lacking FDA approval, though C2N has said the FDA is planning on reviewing the test in 2021. The Alzheimers Association says it wont endorse the test until there is FDA approval.
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The Future Of This Research
The most promising result of the new study is that the three microRNAs appear to be a suitable, minimally invasive biomarker. They are also easy to measure in routine blood samples even in a finger prick. Moreover, the data support that this three-microRNA-signature test could be a first step in helping detect individuals at risk of cognitive disease.
For people living with cognitive decline, early detection may increase their chances of successful therapeutic intervention with existing treatment or future novel RNA-based approaches targeting the three-microRNA signature.
In conclusion, Dr. Porter noted to MNT:
Presently, there is an urgent need for molecular biomarkers that are minimally invasive, able to detect an individual at risk of developing disease, and detect biomarkers of disease as early as possible even in the setting of multiple disease pathologies, e.g., mixed Alzheimers and vascular pathology. The hope is that simple approaches, such as a blood test, could be applicable in the context of routine screening approaches with the of identifying individuals at risk for developing Alzheimers disease, who could then undergo further diagnostic/confirmatory evaluations.
Simple Blood Test Can Detect Dementia
An Alzheimers diagnosis has historically been difficult to confirm. Until recently, only an autopsy could detect Alzheimers with certainty. Now, doctors rely on expensive PET brain scans and testing levels of amyloid, the toxic protein associated with Alzheimers, in cerebrospinal fluid, an invasive and expensive procedure.
But that could change. Recent research by scientists in Japan and Australia shows that a simple blood test could be the only thing we need to detect who may go on to develop Alzheimers disease. Researchers were able to develop a blood test that can measure beta-amyloid in a persons brain.
Besides the low cost of a potential blood test to detect Alzheimers, the convenience and ease of the test could allow doctors to pinpoint who is more likely to develop Alzheimers disease, potentially allowing them access into clinical trials, and eventually a treatment, sooner. The test is currently 90 percent accurate.
This new test has the potential to eventually disrupt the expensive and invasive scanning and spinal fluid technologies. In the first instance, however, it will be an invaluable tool in increasing the speed of screening potential patients for new drug trials, said Colin Masters, a professor at the University of Melbourne who co-led the research.
This study was published in the journal Nature on January 31, 2018.
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See The Hunt For A Blood Test For Alzheimers Disease
The C2N test relies on the ratio of two isoforms of the amyloid- protein, A42 and A40, that aggregate to form amyloid plaques in the brain, combined with the presence of isoforms of apolipoprotein E that reflect whether the patient caries a genetic variant associated with Alzheimers risk. The results are combined into a score that indicates the probability that a patient would be found to have amyloid plaques if they were to undergo an amyloid PET scan. Doctors can then consider the test results along with other information about the patient to arrive at a diagnosis. According to data posted on the companys website, a study in 686 patients with cognitive impairment found that those with scores above a certain cutoff point had a positive amyloid PET scan 92 percent of the time, while those with scores below a certain cutoff had a 77 percent chance of having a negative result on the PET scan.
While no drugs have yet been approved to treat Alzheimers, being able to distinguish it from other possible causes of cognitive impairment is nonetheless valuable, Fillit and Schindler say. As a clinician, Schindler says, I want to know what my patients have. That can be complicated because in many cases, they dont just have memory impairment, theyre taking multiple medications, they have all sorts of health issues, she says. And sometimes its really hard to know whether the symptoms theyre experiencing are due to something like Alzheimers or something else.
Why Are Treatments So Elusive
MNT queried Dr. Porter on why treatments dealing with the onset of Alzheimers disease have been so elusive. Dr. Porter described how researchers have rigorously studied a protein deposit in the brain, called beta-amyloid, as a potential cause of Alzheimers disease. It seems that beta-amyloid accumulation in the brain may interfere with communication between brain cells in people living with Alzheimers disease. She recounted:
A great deal of research effort has been focused on the amyloid cascade hypothesis of pathology. The numerous clinical trial failures, utilizing various anti-amyloid therapeutic interventions, have been very disappointing . It has been suggested that the numerous failed clinical trials that have largely focused on beta-amyloid deposits that beta-amyloid may not be the main driver of the disease.
Instead, deposition of beta-amyloid in the brain may be a biological response to some other potential trigger. In this view, beta-amyloid deposits would represent residual scars like the scar that seals a wound, rather than the primary driving process of the disease. It may be that anti-amyloid therapies are simply administered too late in the disease progression.
Tau is a protein involved in brain cell stabilization. In some people living with Alzheimers disease, it is dysfunctional, causing
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How Effective Is The Blood Test
C2N reported that they used the Preclivity AD on 168 people. They then compared the results with those of PET scans.
When PET scans showed high amounts of amyloid-beta the blood test agreed 92% of the time.
If there was no amyloid shown after a PET scan, the blood test also gave similar results 77% of the time.
A Simple Blood Test May Spot Early Signs Of Dementia
Of those in whom the blood marker was highly elevated, about 90 per cent developed Alzheimers disease within two years
London, October 12
Scientists have identified molecules in the blood that can detect dementia about two to five years before its onset, making the diagnosis of the conditionvia a simple blood test.
The biomarker discovered by researchers at the DZNE and the University Medical Center Gottingen is based on measuring levels of microRNAswhich influence the production of proteins and thus a key process in the metabolism of every living organism.
As the technique is not yet suitable for practical use, the scientists aim to develop a simple, low-cost blood test, similar to the rapid test for SARS-CoV-2, and can be applied in routine medical care to assess dementia risk.
According to the study data, presented in the scientific journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, microRNAs could potentially also be targets for dementia therapy.
When symptoms of dementia manifest, the brain has already been massively damaged. Presently, diagnosis happens far too late to even have a chance for effective treatment. If dementia is detected early, the odds of positively influencing the course of the disease increase, said Andre Fischer, Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at UMG.
Through extensive studies in humans, mice and cell cultures, the researchers identified three microRNAs whose levels were associated with mental performance.
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A Simple Blood Test Can Determine Whether You Will Develop Dementia
Scientists say a blood test can detect dementia up to five years before telltale signs appear.
In this context, the British Daily Mail website published an article translated by Voice of Beirut International website, in which it stated:
But scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases say they have now identified three biomarkers that may serve as a warning sign that someone is likely to have the condition.
This can help doctors detect the disease early, which can slow the onset of the condition and delay its symptoms.
There are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, and 6.2 million with the condition in the US.
The researchers performed cognitive tests with 132 people between the ages of 18 and 77.
They also took blood samples to analyze levels of microRNAs, which are small proteins involved in regulating cells.
The results showed that more than 90 percent of patients who developed dementia in the next two years had elevated levels of three types of microRNAs miR-181a-5p, miR-148a-3p and miR-146a-5p.
These are involved in regulating inflammation in the brain, and help control how brain cells communicate with each other.
Scientists said they are now working on a blood test to detect it, and that it could provide early warning for dementia patients.
They hope it will be priced at a similar level to Covids lateral flow tests, making it more accessible.
We are confident that the results of our current study pave the way for such tests.