New Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease?

I’m not fond of blood tests and want everything checked at one time. On the lab report, in black and white, I can see my risk for heart disease. When I see those numbers, I make an appointment for my annual checkup so my doctor can tell me what I’ve been doing wrong for the past year. He gives me the annual pep talk about diet and losing weight, and failing that again, he prescribes a cholesterol reducing medicine.

Currently, no singular test can definitely diagnose Alzheimer’s, but a new blood test could change that. McGill University Health Centre Research Institute (MUHC) published results of a clinical study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The study showed significant differences in DHEA hormone levels in blood samples from participants with Alzheimer’s and a control group. The blood samples from healthy people responded to oxidation by increasing DHEA by 53%. DHEA levels in participants with Alzheimer’s increased 14% and only 4% in those with severe Alzheimer’s.

If a larger biomarker study supports the initial findings, it could lead to accurate and early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. This blood test could eliminate the agonizingly slow and often confusing process to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Removing the diagnostic guesswork will save unnecessary testing and allow therapies to begin earlier in the disease.

How would I feel if my blood test could tell me I was at risk for Alzheimer’s disease? Well, there isn’t a magic pill for Alzheimer’s, but I think I would do everything I could to lower my risk the old-fashioned way with lifestyle changes.

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