A few disorders attack us in broad daylight and gradually progress with aging. There is a possibility that you might have developed symptoms at an early age like dementia and later transforming it to Alzheimer. Alzheimer is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that shows a decline in memory over time.
Not only Alzheimer but a lot of things can happen while you never know it, and not even your doctor can predict it, with the routine medical examinations. One of them is Alzheimer’s. Often connected with aging, this disease perplexes the sufferer as he/she is not able to complete daily tasks and memorize simple things. What if a blood test could sense the chances of you getting Alzheimer’s in your later life? That is what the scientists have achieved now and yes with a blood sample your risk of Alzheimer’s disease can be predicted with ease.
What happens in Alzheimer’s?
Amyloid-β is a sticky protein present in the blood plasma. Patients show signs of Alzheimer’s only decades after the problem had actually started to build up. This protein called amyloid-β starts building up in the brain of the affected for years, while one would never get a chance to know what is happening as there are no symptoms. To discover the A-beta clumps or the plaques in the brain, a scan of the brain or spinal tap is required. But, the growing evidence state that the A-beta cells build up in the body can be predicted by testing the blood samples. This test can tell if the plaques are developed in the blood or not, says Nature magazine, in an online report on January 31. The amyloid-β and tau protein start accumulating 20-30 years before the symptoms of memory loss appear.
What are the findings?
This study did not spring up all of a sudden, but it is a continuation of the results collected from the smaller studies done by scientists on different groups in 2017. Blood type test can help in identifying the right people who are fit for clinical trials. Researchers can come up with various findings by this test.
While many people can wonder if the A-beta cells present in the blood and the brain can be matched, then here comes the answer. Scientists have worked on it and researched to find that the levels of A-beta float in the blood and brain correlate. Mass spectrometry, a sensitive measuring technique has been used in the recent research. This is a more sensitive method as compared to that of the past. This method involved measuring the ratios between different types of A-beta cells, instead of measuring the protein levels. A group of 252 Australian patients and 121 Japanese patients have been a part of this study. The scientists analyzed the brain scan and the blood sample. This study helped them to find who had A-beta plaques accumulated in the brain and who don’t have the build up.
While it has to be understood that no medicine exists for preventing the occurrence of the Alzheimer’s disease, or there is no cure to this disease, the effect of the patient can be improved by testing the blood samples. As a consequence, the impact of the disease can be lowered after predicting it by doing the lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and getting proper sleep.
Currently, an online blood test is available for all cases. But, in this case, some time might take to ensure if the blood test can be used in the clinic. There are refining techniques on the card. Also, one has to note that the cost involved is not determined. Whether the brain scan or the spinal tap is cheaper as compared with the blood test is yet to be found out.