The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is considered to be a bit expensive. But a breakthrough has come now with scientists developing a simple blood test for its diagnosis. This advanced test is considered a low-cost alternative for brain imaging and spinal fluid tests.
The research was conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). The researchers tested blood levels of phosphorylated tau 181, a brain protein. It was found that patients with Alzheimer’s had three-and-a-half times higher concentration of phosphorylated tau 181 than in normal people.
The test was conducted in about 400 patients for about two years. As of now, there is no blood test to determine the disease]. The only method is by using a PET scan of the brain. This is quite expensive. The test, if approved, would be of much help to the patients. More people are likely to undergo the simple blood test rather than go for the PET scan.
The researchers also said that neurofilament light chain, a protein, was higher in the blood of patients with FTD. Neurofilament light chain gives structural support inside neurons. These can leak out into the blood stream when neurons suffer damage.
Amyloid protein also gets accumulated in brains Alzheimer’s patients. This is the basis for PET scan screening. However, the study found that amyloid levels were less accurate indicators of the disease than pTau181.