Blood Test for Toxic Amyloid May Detect Alzheimer’s 8 Years Before Symptoms, Study Says

Blood Test for Toxic Amyloid May Detect Alzheimer’s 8 Years Before Symptoms, Study Says
A simple test of amyloid-beta protein levels in a person's blood may offer a way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease up to eight years before any clinical symptoms are evident, a study shows. The study, “Amyloid blood biomarker detects Alzheimer's disease,” was published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. While Alzheimer's disease (AD) has few, if any, effective treatments, a key step in possibly developing a disease-modifying therapy is thought to be early diagnosis — determining who has the disease before its symptoms are evident. But current diagnostic methods are either invasive, such as looking for biomarkers in  cerebrospinal fluid, or expensive, such as positron emission tomography (PET) scanning. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a blood test they say can detect early indicators of Alzheimer's long before the first symptoms. The team focused on amyloid-beta, the protein that accumulates as plaques in a patient's brain, to determine if blood levels would be revealing. Amyloid-beta, in its disease form, is characterized by an abnormal 3D structure — a sticky and sheet-like folded structure considered toxic because it tends to aggregate. The toxic protein is known to start accumulating in a person some 15 to 20 years before disease symptoms are evident. Using infrared light, the blood test can distinguish the ratio of toxic and normal amyloid-β, because the two absorb that light at different frequencies. Researche
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.