Study Finds Protein Marker in Blood of Alzheimer’s Patients; May Lead to Future Ability to Diagnose Alzheimer’s by a Blood Test

A study, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and published in the Jan. 7 issue of Cell, found the presence of a protein antibody in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients that was not present to the same degree in the blood of healthy people or those suffering from Parkinson’s.

Comparing blood samples from six Alzheimer’s patients, six healthy people and six Parkinson’s disease patients, the researchers found that at least three-fold more immunoglobulin IgG antibodies were “captured” from the blood of all six of the Alzheimer’s patients than from either the healthy control subjects or the Parkinson’s patients.  These extra antibodies presented biomarkers in the blood unique to those with Alzheimer’s.

Based on these preliminary findings, scientists believe that with further research, they may be able to develop a method of diagnosing and perhaps even predicting future development of Alzheimer’s Disease through a simple blood test. 

The question remains, however, whether people would want to know they are at risk of Alzheimer’s, since at present we have no effective treatment for the disease.  “Right now, there are a few medications that can help with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but there are no treatments that slow the progression of the disease,” according to an article published today in Health Day.

Read More » Early Steps Toward an Alzheimer’s Blood Test.

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