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Scientists make 'major step forward' in predicting whether someone will get Alzheimer's

Scientists found they could predict the beginning of Alzheimer’s with 87% accuracy.

Image: Shutterstock

SCIENTISTS HAVE MADE a ‘major step forward’ in developing a blood test to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, led by King’s College London, analysed more than one thousand people and predicted the start of the illness with 87% accuracy.

The researchers identified a set of 10 proteins in the blood which can predict the beginning of the disease, which is one of the most common forms of dementia.

The research gives hope for people with the degenerative illness which is often diagnosed late, meaning that treatment and drugs are also  given too late.

Scientists say that a blood test that could identify patients in the early stages of memory loss could help find drugs to halt the progression of the disease.

There is currently no effective long-lasting drug treatment for Alzheimer’s. An estimated 48,000 people in Ireland have some form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

“Alzheimer’s begins to affect the brain many years before patients are diagnosed with the disease,” said Professor Simon Lovestone from the University of Oxford who led the research.

“Many of our drug trials fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected.

“A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments which could prevent the progression of the disease”.

MORE IN SCIENCE: 

Read: Europe wants to spend €1.2 billion on brains (but scientists are angry about it) > 

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