Blood test may predict Alzheimer’s

Allison Kronberg

Researchers may have developed the first blood test that can predict Alzheimer’s before symptoms of memory loss occur, according to news sources. The research, published in Nature Medicine earlier this month, could have many implications for those at risk for the disease.

"Knowing their risk of developing cognitive impairment is very relevant to making plans around retirement and where they live," Dr. Jason Karlawish, a professor of medicine, medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania told NPR. "So there is certainly a role for knowing that information."

Researchers from Georgetown University and University of Rochester took blood samples from 525 people 70 years or older and monitored to see who developed Alzheimer’s over the next five years, according to NPR. After sifting through over 4,000 “biomarkers,” they discovered levels of 10 fats were unique to those who developed Alzheimer’s.

The test was accurate 90 percent of the time, USA Today reported. It is still in clinical trials.

Alzheimer’s affects over five million Americans, and is predicted to affect 13 million over the next 35 years, according to NBC. There is no known cure for Alzheimer’s.