Now, simple blood test to predict dementia risk

March 6th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Mar 6 (ANI): Scientists have developed a simple blood test that can help predict dementia risk.

Frontal lobe dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia, FTD) strikes people at an earlier age. After Alzheimer’’s disease, FTD is the form of dementia that occurs most frequently in patients younger than 65.

A research team led by Christine Van Broeckhoven had identified defects in gene called progranulin in a large percentage of the families with FTD.

They predicted that people with these hereditable defects produce only half of the normal amount of progranulin.

In the new study, Kristel Sleegers, a scientist in Van Broeckhoven’’s team, has developed a test for measuring the quantity of progranulin in the blood in a simple way.

This test enables one to determine whether someone has an increased risk of FTD due to a shortage of progranulin long before symptoms appear.

It can be used on a large scale and is much more simple and user-friendly than the current genetic tests.

The test offers prospects for the early detection of FTD caused by a shortage of progranulin.

The study appears in journal Annals of Neurology. (ANI)

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