Early Alzheimers Test

Monday, January 24, 2011 - 8:49am

Researchers believe simple blood test could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease.

One in eight Baby Boomers who reach age 55 will develop Alzheimer's disease by the year 2030 according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Will you be one of them?

A new blood test could tell you.

University of California San Francisco Researcher Dr. Kristine Yaffe studied nearly 1,000 older people without dementia for nine years.

She found that those with very low levels of a certain type of protein in their blood showed significant cognitive declines compared with people who had higher levels of the protein.

"We were able to find a good blood test that predicted people who were at risk for cognitive impairment," she says.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's, but if an accurate blood test can lead to early detection, patients may find greater hope in their golden years.

The study also indicates high risk patients might be able to do something to fight off the symptoms of the brain ravaging disease.

"Let's say you got this blood test and it shows that you're at risk, it's theoretically possible that one could be more cognitively active, try and use the brain more and take advantage of the brain's plasticity so that you might not have as much decline over time," explains Yaffe.

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