Jul 29, 2013
By Jane Brown
A blood test may soon be available to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. To date, there is no definitive test for the brain degenerative disease. Doctors rely on cognition tests and brain scans.
But scientists at the Saarland University in Germany say they have successfully conducted early trials of such a test. They analysed 140 microRNAs or fragments of genetic code in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in healthy people. They found 12 microRNAs in the blood which were present in markedly different levels in people with Alzheimer’s. Early trials showed it was successful and was “able to distinguish with high diagnostic accuracies between Alzheimer’s disease patients and healthy” people.
But more research is still needed before the blood test would be used to diagnose patients. The technique is published in the journal Genome Biology.