Scientists have developed a blood test that can detect early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, an illness that affects more than 5.3 million people in the US, including almost half of the population at 85 years and older.
The test uses autoantibody biomarkers to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI), an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. At this stage, treatments are more likely to be beneficial—that is, before too much brain devastation has occurred, experts said.
Autoantibodies are good for detection and diagnosis because of the way they respond to different types of diseases. The researchers used the 50 best autoantibody biomarkers for MCI and the other diseases diagnosed in their participants and found them to be 100 percent accurate in detection.
During the clinical trials, the test successfully detected mild-moderate Alzheimer’s (98.7 percent), early-stage Parkinson’s disease (98.0 percent), multiple sclerosis (100 percent) and breast cancer (100 percent).
This new blood test can offer opportunities for early-stage Alzheimer’s patients to sign up for clinical trials for new drugs and treatments, plan out future medical care, and even explore ways to help delay its progression.