Breakthrough test shows promise in detecting markers of Alzheimer’s 

Author: Amy Oshier Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

New Alzheimer’s research may lead to early diagnosis and testing.

That’s welcome news for Cassie Conrad. She has a family history when it comes to the disease.

“I have family members who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s starting back in the late 1990s,” added Conrad.

Her father-in-law was first. She said he went undiagnosed for years. “I had no idea why he started doing the things he did,” she said.

Conrad’s aunt had it too. Now her dad struggles with the same mind-altering condition. It took seven years before his case was confirmed. During that time his cognition slipped away.

“He would be playing guitar and doing all the things he used to do until he couldn’t because he couldn’t remember the words,” said Conrad.

But soon, testing for Alzheimer’s might be a finger prick away. A blood test, that could be given at home, is proving accurate 85% of the time according to newly released research.

“It’s looking for things that are called biomarkers,” stated Amy Schenk with the Florida Gulf Coast Alzheimer’s Association. “It may be an easy and cost-effective way for people to have access to learning more about their Alzheimer’s status.”

Early Diagnosis and Medications

WINK News Health and Medical Reporter Amy Oshier noted the importance of early diagnosis. It can make a world of difference. New drug therapies are only proven effective in early-to-mild cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

Medications Leqembi and Aduhelm show great promise in slowing progression if given soon enough.

“You need to know if you actually have Alzheimer’s disease,” said Schenk. “And it has to be confirmed before you can participate in any of those medications.”

Studies find changes in the brain 10 years before symptoms start. While Conrad’s happy for others, she can’t help but wish her dad could’ve benefited from new tests and treatments.

“He would have already been on medication, he would have been a different person,” Conrad said.

More than a half-million people in this country will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2023. It’s estimated thousands more cases will slip through the cracks. We don’t have a specific timeline as to when the blood test will be widely available yet.

For more information, and to keep up with the latest available information, see below.

Alzheimer’s Disease Blood Tests

Florida Gulf Coast Alzheimer’s Association

Research Trials

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