Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blood Test for Alzheimer's Disease Closer

Scientists at CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, reported results today from a study on proteins present in the blood that may indicate potential Alzheimer's disease sufferers. Brain scan (expensive and not widely available) is the only conclusive diagnostic tool now. This blood test study, reported at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in France, confirms results from other studies, including a couple in the U.S. This test, and others that show potential, may predict Alzheimer's 8 to 10 years out. Another study presented at the conference revealed an eye test may predict Alzheimer's outcome as well. Identifying the precursors present will contribute mightily to the research to find a cure. Predictors assist a potential Alzheimer's patient in preparing for the future of living with the disease. Meanwhile, Pfizer reports that the brain swelling in clinical trials of their newest drug may be temporary. Oy! CSIRO has patented the blood test it reported today, and is shopping it around to pharmaceutical companies. We can hope the blood test, if approved will not end up as expensive as an MRI.

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