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A simple blood test may be able to predict Alzheimer’s disease

Written by Diane Archer

According to a new report in Nature magazine, scientists have identified a new test that can predict with excellent accuracy whether an individual will develop Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive impairments.  The blood test examines levels of different fats.  The scientists found that individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have low-levels of 10 different kinds of fats compared to older adults without cognitive impairments.

The blood test is not yet available to doctors. And, there is still a lot of work to be done before it becomes available. But, it appears to be a significant advance, allowing doctors to know with 90 percent accuracy whether an individual will develop Alzheimer’s long before any symptoms appear.

Today it is expensive and difficult to predict Alzheimer’s disease.  The disease affects more than 35 million people around the world, and its prevalence is growing.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 500,000 Americans die of Alzheimer’s disease each year.  It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.  And, in the ten years between 2000 and 2010 there was a 68 percent increase in the number of people dying of Alzheimer’s disease.

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