Breakthrough Screening Tool For Alzheimers

Breakthrough Screening Tool For Alzheimers

A new research study indicates that measuring levels of a specific protein known as phosphorylated tau, or p-tau, in the blood could serve as an effective early screening tool for Alzheimer’s disease, demonstrating “high accuracy” even before the onset of symptoms.

This study focused on detecting a critical Alzheimer’s biomarker called p-tau217 in blood samples.

This biomarker rises concurrently with the accumulation of other harmful proteins — beta amyloid and tau — in the brains of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s.

Presently, the detection of beta amyloid and tau accumulation in the brain typically requires a brain scan or spinal tap, procedures that can be expensive and not easily accessible.

One present method to confirm the accumulation of these proteins in the brain is through a lumbar puncture or an amyloid PET scan. However, these procedures are only accessible in roughly 5% of NHS memory clinics.

The process of a lumbar puncture requires the insertion of a needle into the lower back area, specifically between the spinal bones.

In a report released Monday in JAMA Neurology, this straightforward blood test was shown to be as much as 96% accurate in detecting increased levels of beta amyloid.

Also up to 97% accurate in identifying tau.

The ALZpath pTau217 assay, employed in the recent study, is a product of ALZpath. This commercially developed tool, provided at no charge by the company for the study, is presently designated for research purposes only.

However, Ashton anticipates its availability for clinical applications in the near future.

“This discovery marks a significant advancement in blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer’s, clearing the path for the clinical adoption of the ALZpath pTau 217 assay,” stated Professors Kaj Blennow and Henrik Zetterberg of the University of Gothenburg, who co-authored the study, in a news release.

“This reliable assay is already in use in several laboratories worldwide.”

ALZpath predicts that the test’s cost could range from £150 to £400.


  • Michelle

    As a passionate advocate for women's health and beauty, Michelle has dedicated her life to empowering women of all ages. As a previous beauty therapist, Michelle keeps to a regular beauty and fitness regime. At 53 she's has gained a lot of experience from her previous business and loves writing on topics that offer advice and help other middle-aged women, especially on health and beauty

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