Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Simple blood test may detect Alzheimer's - study

All of us probably know someone close to us who have suffered this horrible disease and have seen the effects on the lives around them. I myself have had my wife's aunt, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law suffer from this incurable affliction. Early detection can help and treatment can slow down its progression, so this is good news in that respect.

A simple blood test could diagnose Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Monday, a finding that could give more people a chance to be tested.

Other teams have shown spinal fluid tests, which require a spinal tap, can detect early changes that signal the onset of Alzheimer's, which affects at least 26 million people globally.

And imaging companies such as privately held Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, General Electric's GE Healthcare and Germany's Bayer are racing to finish clinical trials on new agents that can make brain lesions called plaques visible on positron emission tomography or PET scanners [ID:nN11108128].

A blood test would make Alzheimer's diagnosis much simpler, said Sid O'Bryant of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.

"A blood test opens access to anyone. Any clinic can do it. Even home healthcare nurses could do it," said O'Bryant, whose findings appear in the Archives of Neurology.

Simple blood test may detect Alzheimer's - study

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