Health

This Blood Test Is Over 90 Percent Accurate in Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

A novel blood test may offer a relatively easy way to identify Alzheimer’s disease in its early stages, when treatments can be most effective.

Findings published this month in JAMA Neurology indicate that the blood exam, which measures a specific protein in the plasma, has an accuracy rate of up to 95 percent in detecting the presence of this most common type of dementia.

The test identifies phosphorylated TAU 217 protein (p-tau217), which increases in the body at the same time as beta-amyloid and tau proteins accumulate in the brain. A buildup of beta-amyloid has long been recognized as a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Study authors found the precision of the p-tau217 test to be comparable to the current “gold standard” methods for diagnosing Alzheimer’s: positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and lumbar puncture (or spinal tap, as detailed by InformedHealth.org), which is used to sample and analyze cerebrospinal fluid.

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