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Blood study bids to find early Alzheimer’s test

The research will seek to find the aggregated forms of biomarkers associated with the disease

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A new study by UK scientists is to examine blood biomarkers in people with Alzheimer’s disease, in an attempt to identify a blood test which could help with earlier diagnosis. 

PharmaKure is testing patients using either PET brain imaging or amyloid deposits in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to identify the blood biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s pathology. 

The study is to evaluate the relationship of all these aggregated forms of biomarkers, including oligomers in the blood, to historical PET scan and CSF findings.

Launched this month, participants of the study will be aged 50 to 80, who have had an Amyloid PET scan or CSF Amyloid assessment in the last five years that diagnosed the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 per cent of all cases. Globally, dementia cases are predicted to triple by 2050. 

Dr Farid Khan, CEO at PharmaKure – a spinout from the University of Manchester – said: “Every three seconds, someone in the world develops dementia. 850,000 in the UK and 44 million worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia related illnesses and this takes a terrible toll on patients and their families.

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“The current annual societal and economic cost of dementia is estimated as $1trillion, an amount that is expected to double by 2030 unless we find a way to slow the disease.

“Our hope is this study may lead to a blood test which could help with earlier diagnosis of this disease.

“That could lead to better health outcomes, lower health system costs and improved quality of life of patients by offering treatments earlier.”

Professor Andrew Doig, of The University of Manchester and co-founder of PharmaKure, said: “Blood tests give further understanding of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and an insight into formulating strategies for improving clinical outcomes by selecting future treatments that are tailored to the right patient group.

“In the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, it is not clear whether blood biomarkers are associated with brain imaging scans or amyloid in the CSF.  

“This study could enable us to learn how to get early warning signs of cognitive decline in blood.”

In 2020, the total cost of cost of care for people with dementia in the UK was £34.7billion. Globally, the cost was $360 billion and by 2050 the costs could be a $1 trillion, according to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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