London Researchers Discover Proteins in Blood to Help Predict Onset of Alzheimer’s


King's College of London researchers have identified a combination of 10 proteins in the blood that can help predict the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers said that the finding can pave the way for developing a blood test for the disease. A blood test could be used to identify patients in the early stages of memory loss and necessary medication can be administered immediately to stop the progression of the disease.

For the study, the researchers analysed the blood samples of 1,148 participants (476 with Alzheimer's disease; 220 with 'Mild Cognitive Impairment' (MCI) and 452 elderly controls without dementia) for 26 proteins previously known to be associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers found that 16 of 26 proteins were strongly linked to brain shrinkage in both MCI and Alzheimer's disease patients. They conducted a second series of tests to determine which of these can accurately predict the progression from MCI to Alzheimer's. The researchers discovered a set of 10 proteins that are capable of predicting whether individuals suffering MCI would develop Alzheimer's disease within a year. The accuracy rate of these proteins was tied to 87 percent.

"Memory problems are very common, but the challenge is identifying who is likely to develop dementia. We now have a set of 10 proteins that can predict whether someone with early symptoms of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment, will develop Alzheimer's disease within a year, with a high level of accuracy," Dr Abdul Hye, lead author of the study from the Institute of Psychiatry, said in a press release.

The finding is published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.    

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