A blood test to detect your risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Randall Bateman, MD, from Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, provides an overview of his work on plasma amyloid testing at the press briefing at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2017, London, UK. Amyloid-beta build up in the brain occurs 10-15 years prior to the onset of symptoms. The goal of Dr Bateman’s study was to detect amyloid-beta in the blood which would not only reflect amyloid build up in the brain but also act as a screening test to identify people who are at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Gold standard testing for amyloid involves PET scanning and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid measurement. Dr Bateman has showed how blood has the same characteristic hallmark as CSF, and the amount of this characteristic blood biomarker, amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42) mirrors the changes seen in CSF. Dr Bateman envisions that this test will be part of the basic standard of care we provide to patients, very much the same as screening for high cholesterol or diabetes currently. This research was supported by the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith award grant and an NIH R01 study.

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