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VIDEO: Alzheimer’s blood test expected soon


 

AT ANA 2017

 

– A blood test that could be on the market in as little as 2 years has an accuracy of 89% for detecting amyloid plaques in the brain, according to a report at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.

It measures the ratio of amyloid-beta 42 to amyloid-beta 40; the numbers refer to how many amino acids are in the proteins. In healthy individuals, the ratio is “remarkably consistent, but when beta-42 starts to stick to plaques in the brain, it doesn’t get out into the blood, and the ratio drops; that’s what we are detecting.” It’s highly accurate in both “Alzheimer’s patients and people who are completely normal who have amyloid plaques in their brains,” said Randall Bateman, MD, a professor of neurology at Washington University, St. Louis.

The test is being developed by C2N Diagnostics; Dr. Bateman is a cofounder and scientific adviser. The company is working with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to commercialize the test.

If it makes it to market – which seems likely – it could be a game changer, not only for Alzheimer’s research, but also for screening, preclinical detection, and early treatment. At present, CNS amyloidosis is detected largely by positron emission tomography and radioactive tracers.

In an interview at the meeting, Dr. Bateman explained the test, the research behind it, and what it could mean for neurologists and patients. In short, “when effective drugs are found, the blood beta-amyloid test [could] be used to screen millions of people in the general public to identify who is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease” so they can “start treatments even before memory loss and brain damage begin,” he said.

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