Alzheimer blood test could be game-changer for early detection

 Doctors have expressed optimism over researchers' progress with a new blood test aimed at detecting Alzheimer's disease at an early stage.

He told Fox Business he's waited years for a more accessible and affordable way to detect the disease, and now, it's one step closer to becoming a reality.

The latest development of the test, published in JAMA Neurology on Monday, showed that a protein called phosphorylated Tau 217 assay could be used to detect the disease before the onset of symptoms.

Behavioral neurologist Dr. Sharon Cohen told Fox Business that trial researchers found that the p-TAU217 assay has more than 90% accuracy for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.

According to Cohen and Dr. Robert, a New York City-based emergency room physician, the data underlined how the blood tests forced patients to undergo invasive procedures such as expensive positron emission tomography (PET) scans and spinal fluid assessments. Can track the progress of the disease without. Dazzle.

It has been a long time coming.

"We've wanted a blood test for Alzheimer's for years and it initially seemed impossible," Cohen said. However, given that "there is a great need for an accessible, affordable way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease in the early stages, when treatment may be helpful, scientists around the world have continued to work on it."

Jay Reinstein, who suffers from Alzheimer's, dies on June 20, 2023 in Washington, D.C. Preparing to undergo a PET scan at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images/Getty Images)

This type of testing can more easily provide early and accurate diagnosis.
Cohen and Glatter believe this could be a game-changer for Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of dementia, because it could improve patient care and treatment options.

According to the latest projections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6.7 million Americans who are at least 65 years old will be living with Alzheimer's in 2023. However, this figure is expected to almost triple to 14 million by 2060.

"This kind of blood test with high accuracy would be a major game changer in the management of patients at high risk for Alzheimer's disease, especially those who have a strong family history," Glatter said.

Dr. Seth Gale points out evidence of Alzheimer's disease on MRI at the Center for Alzheimer's Research and Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on March 30, 2023. (Reuters // Brian Snyder / Reuters Photos)

Cohen said the term "game-changer" gets thrown around too often, but he agrees that in this case, it fits.
He added, "If we could have a blood test that we could use in clinical work in the doctor's office, and not just in a research setting, that would really help us with Alzheimer's disease diagnosis and early treatment." "Will allow us to move forward."

The disease takes a long time and progresses slowly, before people become cognitively impaired.

The point is that even if people have subtle symptoms, "we ignore them because everyone complains about being a little absent-minded or forgetful as they age, and we don't think about those things." Who are disabled by amnesia, they have Alzheimer's." " He continued.

This explains why Alzheimer's is often not diagnosed. In other cases, Cohen said, patients don't want to undergo an invasive procedure, or they don't have the money to get a PET scan, which costs thousands of dollars. Even if they do, some patients, especially in rural settings, may have to travel long distances to reach them.
In some cases, patients avoid these because they are worried about the consequences.

Cohen said, "You know, a lot of people are afraid of, 'Why would I want to find out if I have Alzheimer's if you can't do anything?'

She is trying to change this perception. Not only are there things they can do, but they can help people "even more effectively if we catch the disease early."
"It's a very promising time" for Alzheimer's disease, Cohen said, with better diagnostics and treatments coming to market that slow the disease.

Over the summer, the FDA also approved an Alzheimer's drug, Lecambi, which Cohen previously told Fox Business was the first drug that "slows the clinical aspects of Alzheimer's disease, meaning people Will slow down and lose memory." "Their functional abilities are slowing down."

With developments like this, Cohen believes people will feel more hopeful about getting a diagnosis and taking action on early findings rather than waiting."

The other good news is that this blood test can also help detect the disease. For example, if the test is negative for p-tau217, doctors can evaluate patients for other causes of neurological impairment such as vascular dementia or Lewy body dementia, according to Glatter.

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