Thursday, July 10, 2014

Closer and Closer

The big news this week is that a blood test has been developed which indicates with about an 87% accuracy if a person who has Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) will develop Alzheimer's disease within a year.  The test detects plasma proteins in the blood which are indicators of Alzheimer's disease.  The test is still in development but the initial findings are very positive.

The test is being developed to identify individuals who would be good candidates for participation in the clinical trials for treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's.  One of the concerns about the failure rate of those clinical trials is that participants already have the disease.  The goal of the test is to identify individuals earlier in their disease progression in the hope that the drug being tested will actually be beneficial or effective.

The test is not expected to be rolled out to doctors offices initially.  Some question what use it would be to have it widely available when there is no effective treatment or cure for the disease.  However, there's the realization that individuals who are currently facing memory problems are often told to jut wait a year or two to see if the memory issues progress.

So, while we've heard talk of this test before, it is good to see that progress is being made.  Hopefully, they will decide to make it more widely available so that people can have answers about the changes they are bringing to their doctor and plan accordingly.

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