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Groundbreaking test reveals Alzheimer's disease 15 years before symptoms: Details

Groundbreaking test reveals Alzheimer's disease 15 years before symptoms: Details Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Doctors have developed a test that helps detect Alzheimer's disease 15 years before symptoms appear. It may become widely available in just three years, reports The Sun.

What is known about the development

The test operates by checking the level of p-tau217 protein in the blood. It serves as a marker for biological changes occurring in the brain during Alzheimer's disease. Scientists claim that this could be a key to detecting Alzheimer's disease at early stages. The development could revolutionize the diagnosis of individuals suspected of having the disease. While the test is not yet available for patients with suspected Alzheimer's, charitable organizations suggest that it may be ready for widespread use by 2027.

"Furthermore, it suggests results from these tests could be clear enough to not require further follow-up investigations for some people living with Alzheimer's disease, which could speed up the diagnosis pathway significantly in future," said Dr. Richard Oakley, associate director of research and innovation at the Alzheimer's Society.

However, medical professionals still need more research across different communities to understand how effective these blood analyses are.

What is Alzheimer's disease

During the development of the disease, the gray matter of the brain is damaged, leading to memory loss and progressive cognitive decline. It affects brain processes but not physical functions.

Causes of Alzheimer's disease include:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Accumulation of beta-amyloid in brain cells
  • Decreased acetylcholine levels
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Specific immune reactions
  • Impact of toxic substances
  • Injuries (psychological, traumatic brain injuries)
  • Viruses

There is also a hypothesis that Alzheimer's disease is contagious at the protein level.

The initial symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include a decline in memory, attention, cognitive function, and the ability to form and execute motor skills, among others.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's disease:

  • Worsening of memory for new or previously learned information
  • Impairment of intellectual activities
  • Impairment of already formed speech
  • Impairment of purposeful movements and actions
  • Impairment of perception: visual, auditory, tactile

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