A new blood test that predicts the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and mild dementia could lead to more effective management and even prevention of these conditions, according to research published in Nature Medicine.
The study involved 525 participants who were over 70 years old. The participants gave blood samples throughout the trial period, and investigators traced which participants developed Alzheimer’s or had mild cognitive impairment. The blood test uses an analysis of 10 lipids and reveals with 90% accuracy which people will develop one of these conditions within 2-3 years. This early detection could allow for more effective early-stage interventions and potentially help researchers develop drugs that could delay or prevent these cognitive disorders.
The results from the blood test could also be used to help patients and their families prepare for future healthcare needs. The researchers are designing a clinical trial that would use the lipid panel to test a therapeutic agent. Confirmation of the results and further testing are needed before the blood test could be offered to the general public.