A new blood test that looks for lower levels of a certain protein could be the link that scientists need to determine who is at greater risk for Alzheimer’s. The protein Mapkapk5 was lower in people whose cognitive ability decclined over a 10-year period. Mild cognitive decline can lead to dementia. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia. Researchers have been confounded in finding a cure or even effective treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s and many have turned their attention to detecting the disorder earlier. Their theory is that early detection could be treated before dementia symptoms set in. The blood test study was conducted by British scientists at King’s College London.
“Although we are still searching for an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, what we do know is that prevention of the disease is likely to be more effective than trying to reverse it,” said study lead Steven Kiddle, lead author and Biostatistics Research Fellow at the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the college. ‘”he next step will be to confirm whether or not our initial finding is specific for Alzheimer’s disease, as this could lead to the development of a reliable blood test which would help clinicians identify suitable people for prevention trials.”
Co-author, Clair Steves, Geriatrician and Senior Lecturer in Twin Research at King’s, added: “We’re very optimistic that our research has the potential to benefit the lives of those who don’t currently have symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but are at risk of developing the disease.”