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Journal Scan
Neurology

Study: blood test for Alzheimer’s may be in reach

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An experimental blood test was able to spot Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear, according to results discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference published in JAMA.

In this cross-sectional study published in JAMA of 1402 participants, plasma P-tau217 was able to distinguish Alzheimer disease from other neurodegenerative diseases, with significantly higher accuracy than other plasma- and MRI-based biomarkers currently used.

In some cases, the increasing blood tau levels were detected in patient up to 20 years before the onset of early cognitive decline.

“This particular tau blood test may come to market as early as next year and it will be a real game changer, advancing clinical care and research,” said Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in a statement. “This is one of the breakthroughs we’ve been waiting for—a simple and accessible blood test that can diagnose Alzheimer’s better than the more costly and invasive methods currently available, like PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers. The tau blood test could be the ‘cholesterol’ of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Reference

Palmqvist S, Janelidze S, Quiroz YT, et al. Discriminative Accuracy of Plasma Phospho-tau217 for Alzheimer Disease vs Other Neurodegenerative Disorders. JAMA. Published online July 28, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12134

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