An experimental blood test can accurately diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, according to a study published this week.
Although still under development, the test may someday be used to diagnose other degenerative brain disorders and even degenerative deterioration arising from head injuries.
The researchers say that using the test could identify patients with Alzheimer’s with 86% accuracy. The test also differentiated the alzheimer’s from dementia with Lewy bodies with 90% accuracy.
The accuracy of this new test is notably higher than that of other tests that have been developed. At this time there is only one conclusive test to make the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s – an analysis of the brain in the autopsy of a patient.
However, when the patient is alive, doctors diagnose the disease based on a careful evaluation that includes brain scans and comprehensive mental tests.
Current methods for diagnosing dementia can be slow and expensive, so finding a quick, inexpensive test that can pinpoint dementia is the top priority for researchers.