Up until today, Alzheimer’s could only be determined predictably with an autopsy. Now, a new blood test may be able to distinguish between healthy patients and those with Alzheimer’s. The news comes from a research team at Saarland University and Siemens Healthcare, who studied microRNAs (RNA molecules known to affect the way genes are expressed) to identify Alzheimer’s in study participants. Essentially, microRNAs are blood-based “biomarkers” for disease.
The team evaluated both individuals with and without Alzheimer’s, for 12 different microRNAs, and found that the test was highly accurate, sensitive (correctly identifying people with the condition), and specific (correctly identifying people without the condition). The team reports that the test looks promising; however, it still needs to be validated for clinical use and may best be used in combination with other tests.
A blood test to detect Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages could have a major impact on seniors, in terms of maintaining independence. Evidence of this was found in another recent study conducted at the University of Finland, which followed people with Alzheimer’s over the course of three years and found that individuals diagnosed at the very mild phase of the condition were better able to manage their everyday activities, than those diagnosed at more advanced stages of the condition. As scientists make new discoveries and come to better understand Alzheimer’s, early detection could delay the onset of the disease, resulting in years of extended health for seniors.
Always Best Care offers compassionate in-home care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Our caring and professional staff helps seniors maintain their independence at home, to the fullest extent possible. For more information about our services, visit our website or call us toll free at 1-855-470-2273.