Blood test to detect Alzheimer's proving highly accurate

Test accuracy is ranging from 89% to 98%, scientists announced

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Alzheimer's disease
A doctor and an Alzheimer's patient
(Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Updated: July 29, 2020 - 8:43am

An experimental blood test used in several studies to detect Alzheimer’s disease is reportedly proving highly accurate and boosting hopes that it will soon become a simple way to finally diagnose the form of dementia. 

The testing identified people with Alzheimer’s vs. no dementia or other types of it with accuracy ranging from 89% to 98% and was discussed Tuesday at a medical conference, according to the Associated Press. 

Scientists have long sought a simple, accurate way to detect the disease. Though they said the new method shows much promise, they also warned it still needs more study and is not yet ready for wide use.

The results were discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and some of the results also were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More than 5 million people in the United States and many more worldwide have Alzheimer’s. Current drugs only temporarily ease symptoms and do not slow mental decline.

The disease is usually diagnosed through tests of memory and thinking skills, but that’s very imprecise and usually involves a referral to a neurologist. More reliable methods such as spinal fluid tests and brain scans are invasive or expensive, the wire service also reports.

 

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