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Published on : Jul 09, 2014

Soon, a simple blood test is all that would be required to predict a person’s chances of being affected by Alzheimer’s with an accuracy of 87%. Scientists from King’s College London and Proteome Sciences, a UK-based proteomics company, have identified 10 proteins in the blood that can provide an indication of the onset of Alzheimer’s in a person. Efforts are afoot in developing a blood test for Alzheimer’s and these findings could be a significant step towards the same. The study comprised 1,000 individuals making it the largest such study in the world to date.

Researchers made use of data collected from three previous international studies. The blood samples of 1,148 people were analyzed as part of this research study. Of the total number of samples analyzed, 476 were samples of patients with Alzheimer’s diseases, and 220 were of patients with mild cognitive impairment. The remaining 452 samples were taken from those without dementia. The researchers mainly looked for 26 proteins that were known to be associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s. The MRI brain scans of patients were also analyzed as part of the study. Of these 26 known proteins, researchers found that 16 had strong associations with brain shrinkage, either in Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment.

The scientists then went on to a next set of tests to get a clear picture of which of these 16 proteins could indicate a patient’s progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s. At the end of these tests, 10 proteins were identified in all. An analysis of these proteins can predict with an 87%-accuracy, if a patient with MCI would, within a year, develop Alzheimer’s.