According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s affects 40% of the American population, constituting the disease as the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Due to the staggering amount of people affected, coupled with the severity of the disease, scientists are allocating more resources to Alzheimer’s research. Proteome Sciences, a leading biomarker agency located in England together with scientists at Oxford University and Kings College of London, have developed a blood test that can potentially predict the onset of Alzheimer’s within a year. This blood test identifies 10 proteins that have the capacity of predicting the onset of Alzheimer’s disease with 87% accuracy.
Breakthroughs like these in Alzheimer’s research can lead to an eradication of the disease entirely. As of now, there is no medication that can cure or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s. The “Baby Boomer Generation” will rapidly increase the percentage of the geriatric population diagnosed with the disease, and will generate a high demand for effective medications and a cure. Certain medications such as BACE inhibitors and anti-amyloid agents have been hailed as the “wonder drugs” of Alzheimer’s treatment. Although glorified, these drugs “have shown little improvement for sufferers. Scientists believe that by the time Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, an irreversible ‘cascade’ of symptoms has already occurred.”
Scientists performed blood tests on 1148 patients—476 with Alzheimer’s, 220 with memory decline, and 452 with no signs of dementia—from these tests, 16 proteins were shown to lead to brain shrinkage. 10 of the 16 proteins were indications of the onset of Alzheimer’s. The results of the study represent a significant breakthrough for scientists. Determining when a patient will be affected by Alzheimer’s will yield for more accurate drug testing in the future. Due to the inability to diagnosis Alzheimer’s early, many medications have shown to be ineffective in patients. The Wall Street Journal explains, “Many of our drug trails fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected.”
Scientists postulate that this blood test is the beginning to the end of Alzheimer’s disease. Today, a patient can only be diagnosed through a battery of invasive and expensive procedures such as PET scans and examination of lumbar fluid. On the assumption that the blood test will be administered in the future, it serves as a less invasive and less expensive alternative for early diagnosis, which is essential when considering quality of life.
Although a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is on the horizon, cognitive decline is extremely prevalent amongst the geriatric community. Therefore, the proper form of care should be a guarantee when caring for elderly patients. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi are relentlessly battling to protect victims of elder abuse and their loved ones. If you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected, please do not hesitate to contact us at (310) 623-1926 for a free consultation today. We serve communities throughout the state of California.