New Blood Test May Help Detect Beta-Amyloid Plaques in People at Risk of Alzheimer’s, Study Shows

New Blood Test May Help Detect Beta-Amyloid Plaques in People at Risk of Alzheimer’s, Study Shows
Scientists have developed a simple blood test that may help clinicians identify whether a person has accumulations of abnormal amyloid protein deposits in the brain — an event linked to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This new laboratory test may represent an alternate diagnostic tool to other expensive brain imaging methods currently in use, according to researchers. The test was described in “High-precision plasma β-amyloid 42/40 predicts current and future brain amyloidosis,” a study published in the journal Neurology. One of the main features of Alzheimer disease is the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques are mainly composed of small beta-amyloid protein fragments, often with a length of 42 and 40 amino acids (Aβ42 and Aβ40). Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Assessing these fragments in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, is commonly done in the clinic. Still, this approach requires a lumbar puncture procedure — often called a spinal tap — which is an invasive method linked to some risks, and not pleasant for patients. Another way to evaluate the presence of beta-amyloid p
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