Researchers Develop A Novel Biomarker Test That Can Detect Alzheimer’s Disease Neurodegeneration In Blood Samples - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

Approximately 6.5 million U.S. adults are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD)– a neurodegenerative disease that impacts memory, thought processes, and behavior. But even though there is currently no cure for AD, it is still optimal for patients to receive an early diagnosis.

Early diagnoses provide patients with a plethora of benefits. Primarily, they have a higher chance of benefiting from available therapies and interventions.

These patients may also have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials since early diagnoses will earn them greater candidacy in a wider variety of research studies.

And recently, new research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has made a groundbreaking discovery in this realm.

The study, led by Thomas Karikari, developed a test that can detect a novel biomarker of AD neurodegeneration from a patient’s blood sample.

The marker, known as brain-derived tau (BD-tau), actually outperformed the blood diagnostic tests currently used to detect AD-related neurodegeneration. Moreover, the test is specific to AD and works well with AD neurodegeneration biomarkers present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Perhaps the most notable benefit of this new test, though, is its potential for widespread accessibility.

“At present, diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease requires neuroimaging. Those tests are expensive and take a long time to schedule, and a lot of patients, even in the U.S., don’t have access to MRI and PET scanners. Accessibility is a major issue,” explained Karikari.

Right now, clinicians are also using guidelines issued by the National Institute on Aging and the Alzheimer’s Association in 2011. – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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