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Blood Test Detects Alzheimer's with 97% Accuracy 10 Years Before Symptoms Emerge

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Mar 2023
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Image: A new test has shown nearly 97% accuracy in detecting Alzheimer's disease years before symptoms arise (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Image: A new test has shown nearly 97% accuracy in detecting Alzheimer's disease years before symptoms arise (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

The onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology can occur a decade or more before the appearance of hallmark symptoms. Now, a newly-developed blood test has the ability to detect AD-associated pathology up to 10 years before the onset of symptoms with an impressive 97% accuracy rate. The test has enormous potential to create a positive impact on effective treatments for AD. The test is minimally invasive, cost-effective, capable of diagnosing or predicting clinical decline in individuals without symptoms, and can track a patient's progress over treatment. As a result, it can effectively be used in clinical trials, as well as in frontline and community primary care settings, particularly in rural and economically disadvantaged areas.

In a recent study, researchers from Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ, USA) and Durin Technologies (Mullica Hill, NJ, USA) analyzed 328 blood samples to investigate if a test that monitors a limited number of a patient's autoantibodies can detect AD-related pathology in the pre-symptomatic, prodromal (i.e., mild cognitive impairment), and mild-moderate stages. The study revealed that the test, utilizing only eight autoantibody biomarkers, could accurately identify the presence of AD pathology throughout the progression of the disease, including in patients who had been previously deemed to have no symptoms of the disease. The application of autoantibodies as blood-based biomarkers is particularly encouraging, according to the researchers as it enables the development of a universal early detection platform for multiple diseases.

"Alzheimer's disease pathology begins a decade or more before the emergence of hallmark symptoms," explained Dr. Robert Nagele, the founder and chief scientific officer at Durin Technologies, Inc., and a professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Rowan-Virtua SOM. "An accurate, non-invasive blood test for early detection and monitoring of AD could bend the curve of clinical outcomes through earlier participation in clinical trials and monitoring of AD progression of patients under treatment."

"Our test correctly identified nearly 97% of participants who were diagnosed as cognitively normal at the time their samples were taken, but who progressed, within an average of 48 months, to either the mild cognitive impairment stage or more advanced Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Cassandra DeMarshall, the study's lead investigator and Durin's director of research. "To our knowledge, this is the first blood test to accurately detect Alzheimer's-related pathology several years before either clinical symptoms or more expensive and invasive tests can identify the disease."

Related Links:
Rowan University
Durin Technologies

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