Blood Test For Alzheimer's
The First Blood Test Able to Diagnose Alzheimer's
Researchers announced this past week that they have developed a blood test capable of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. The blood test uses a complex form of analysis to calculate the amount of Amyloid and Tau in the blood.
Amyloid and Tau are the two abnormal proteins believed to be the primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Depending upon the levels of Amyloid and Tau detected, the test can determine with 90% accuracy whether or not an individual has Alzheimer’s disease.
Previous tests which analyzed levels of Amyloid and Tau were either prohibitively expensive- often costing in excess of $5,000 USD, or invasive- requiring a sample of fluid to be taken from the spine via a procedure known as a spinal tap.
This new test, PrecivityAD offered by C2N Diagnostics, costs $1,250 USD and while it is not yet covered by insurance, C2N Diagnostics plans to offer price reductions based on income.
One important distinction of the PrecivityAD test, is that it is primarily a diagnostic rather than predictive test. For the test to return a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, the individual being tested must have already developed Alzheimer’s disease- even though initial symptoms may be mild or imperceptible. This is in contrast with the ApoE Genetic Test, which can predict the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s decades in advance.
The primary benefit of the PrecivityAD test is that a positive test result can enable a physician to begin Alzheimer’s-slowing medication sooner; previously, physicians would need to wait for symptoms to progress to a noticeable state before making a diagnosis.
Individuals who believe they are experiencing memory loss or cognitive problems should consider speaking with their physician about the PrecivityAD test and individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s should consider an ApoE genetic test.