Blood tests trialed for early Alzheimer's detection

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  • 2 months ago

A new trial is set to offer thousands of people a blood test for dementia in hopes of improving early detection and access to care and new drug treatments. The research, conducted by University College London and the University of Oxford, will involve around 5,000 volunteers over a five-year period.

Currently, only a small percentage of patients receive the gold standard tests for Alzheimer's disease, which can show the presence of rogue proteins in the brain such as amyloid and tau. These tests are expensive and not widely accessible. The new blood tests being studied could provide a cheaper and easier way for doctors to spot early signs of the disease.

The researchers will be looking for traces of these proteins in the blood to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, as well as potential biomarkers for other forms of dementia. The goal is to detect these diseases at various stages to improve outcomes for patients.

Dr. Vanessa Raymont from the University of Oxford highlighted the importance of including a diverse range of participants in the study to ensure the data reflects the real-world population. The trial sites will recruit volunteers from NHS memory clinics across the UK.

The potential benefits of early and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease are significant, particularly as new treatments that can slow the progression of the disease are on the horizon. The hope is that these treatments, if approved, will be accessible to all who could benefit from them.

Overall, the Blood Biomarker Challenge funded by various organizations aims to address the growing health challenge of dementia in the UK. By improving diagnostic processes and access to care, the trial could have a significant impact on the lives of those affected by dementia.


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