Stanford team finds blood test to help identify Alzheimer's disease

  1. (10-14) 10:16 PDT Stanford - -- Researchers at Stanford University have developed a potentially pathbreaking blood test that, according to preliminary studies, is able to identify patients with Alzheimer's disease - an ailment that has been notoriously difficult to diagnose.
    The test has also shown promise in predicting which patients with mild memory loss are at high risk of developing the dreaded syndrome, which kills 66,000 Americans each year and inflicts incalculable heartache on the families of its victims.
    Scientists have been working for years without success to develop a simple way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, a degenerative brain disease that saps memory, sows confusion and will eventually kill patients who may have lost the ability to speak, walk or swallow.
    In a paper published Sunday in the online edition of the British journal Nature Medicine, a team of scientists led by Stanford neurology Professor Tony Wyss-Coray describe a unique method that can spot Alzheimer's patients by screening for a set of 18 chemical signals that consistently turn up in the blood of people suffering from the disease.
    Source: accessed today.
  2. Visit HM2VikingRN profile page

    About HM2VikingRN

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 11,159; Likes: 11,316


  3. by   CityKat
    My mom told me about this today. I'm not sure how good of news this is. Certainly good news for the insurance companies who will now be able to DENY insurance to the people who are diagnosed with this horrible disease And so far, it's only been the elderly...go figure!!
  4. by   Katnip
    I haven't met anyone who has been denied insurance for alzheimer's. Doctors still give that diagnoses, even as a tentative one.
  5. by   Simkah
    Alzheimer’s disease may actually be a variant of diabetes, according to researchers from Northwestern University.

    The Northwestern University researchers found that a toxic protein in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients (ADDL) removes insulin receptors from nerve cells in the central nervous system, and renders those neurons insulin-resistant. Insulin and insulin receptors in the brain are critical for memory and learning, and these components are reduced in people who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

    The findings suggest that ADDLs accumulate at the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and thereby block memory function.

    The process is currently thought to be reversible. Drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may “supercede currently available Alzheimer’s drugs.”