Proteins may predict who will get dementia 10 years later, study finds

CHICAGO — A study of frozen blood samples has turned up a trove of proteins that may predict several forms of dementia more than 10 years before the disease is diagnosed, researchers from the UK and China reported on Monday (Feb 12).

The study, published in the journal Nature Ageing is part of ongoing research from multiple teams to identify patients at risk for dementia using a simple blood test, an advance many scientists believe will accelerate the development of new treatments.

Currently, brain scans can detect abnormal levels of a protein called beta amyloid many years before Alzheimer’s dementia develops, but the tests are costly and often not covered by insurance.

“Based on this study, it does seem likely that blood tests will be developed that can predict risk for developing dementia over the next 10 years, although individuals at higher risk often have difficulty knowing how to respond,” said Dr Suzanne Schindler, an Alzheimer’s researcher at Washington University in St Louis, who was not involved in the research.


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