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UK scientists' Alzheimer's test hailed a breakthrough in predicting disease


A blood test to detect which people with failing memories will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease has been developed by British scientists, who hope it may prove a breakthrough in the hunt for a cure.

The King's College London scientists, working with UK pharmaceutical firm Proteome Sciences, have published a study identifying a set of 10 proteins in the blood which can predict the onset of Alzheimer's in the next 12 months in people with memory problems with an accuracy of 87%. It could cost £100-£300 and be available within two years.

The new test is aimed at people with the kind of memory loss called mild cognitive impairment, 60% of whom will go on to develop dementia. Those are the people scientists now want to recruit into trials to prevent, or at least delay, the onset of Alzheimer's.

"Alzheimer's begins to affect the brain many years before patients are diagnosed with the disease," said Professor Simon Lovestone from King's College. "Many of our drug trials fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected.

"A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments which could prevent the progression of the disease."

Read more on this story:
The Guardian: Blood test breakthrough in search for Alzheimer's cure

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