If you could see into the future and learn whether or not Alzheimer’s disease would play a role in what you needed regarding senior home care services, would you want to know? It used to be that a definitive diagnosis could only be made from an autopsy. Now, we can find out with brain imaging and spinal fluid tests. It is estimated by 2030, 76 million people worldwide will have Alzheimer’s or another dementia diagnosis.
The concept of knowing well beforehand may not be as far-fetched as you might think and is helpful in senior home care services. Knowing earlier allows for more careful planning. A new blood test that predicts Alzheimer’s disease is showing the remarkable ability to detect Alzheimer’s disease up to three years before symptoms present. While the test is currently only about 90 percent accurate, many researchers believe that knowing about Alzheimer’s disease earlier could help create more effective treatments for those who are at a high risk of getting it. According to Scientific American, “The development of a blood-based test for Alzheimer’s disease is just phenomenal,” says Michelle Mielke, a neuroscientist and epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “The field has been thinking about this for a very long time. It’s really been in the last couple of years that the possibility has come to fruition.”
Currently, the test is not covered by insurance and costs $1,250. A financial program offers assistance to eligible patients, dropping the cost to between $25 to $400. The results from the test will also be able to distinguish Alzheimer’s dementia from other memory loss from other conditions. Would you want to know?
Screening for trials
This more user-friendly test would additionally allow for screening patients for trials or experimental drugs. This test could potentially reduce the costs of trials while increasing more potential treatments and ultimately, increase the chance for a cure.
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Sources: Detecting Alzheimer’s Gets Easier with a Simple Blood Test