Quick blood test for Alzheimer’s detection in offing

January 7th, 2011 - 6:03 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 7 (IANS) Scientists are developing a quick and simple blood test for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.The test could open the way to developing drugs, which could halt the disease in its tracks.

It could also be modified to detect illnesses ranging from multiple sclerosis to Parkinson’s to cancer, say scientists at Scripps Research Institute in the US, the journal Cell reports.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia affect millions worldwide. There is no cure and existing drugs do not work for everyone, according to the Daily Mail.

The Scripps team fabricated thousands of molecules hoping that some would react with antibodies in the immune systems of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

When they ran blood samples over the manmade molecules, three produced strong reactions. Further samples showed the test to be 93 percent accurate.

So far, only a small number of people have been studied, but the team hopes to have results from thousands more within a few months.

Study co-author Thomas Kodadek said: “We should be able to see disease perhaps three to five years prior to symptoms.”

“Patients at that early stage would provide a far higher chance of potential drugs showing clear effects in clinical trials,” he said.

“The current state, where demented people are being treated, is pretty bad since no drug is going to reverse neurodegeneration.”

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