New Mayo Clinic Approach Could Lead to Blood Test to Diagnose Alzheimer’s in Earliest Stage

“We want to use these biomarkers to diagnose the Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear — which can be decades before people start exhibiting memory loss,” Dr. Trushina says. “The earlier we can detect the disease, the better treatment options we will be able to offer.”

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Blood offers promise as a way to detect Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest onset, Mayo Clinic researchers say. They envision a test that would detect distinct metabolic signatures in blood plasma that are synonymous with the disease — years before patients begin showing cognitive decline. Their study was recently published online in the journal PLOS ONE.

MULTIMEDIA ALERT: For audio and video of Dr. Trushina talking about the research, visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Researchers analyzed cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples from 45 people in the Mayo Clinic Study on Aging and Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Center (15 with no cognitive decline, 15 with mild cognitive impairment and 15 with Alzheimer’s disease). They detected significant changes in the cerebrospinal fluid and plasma in those with cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. Most important, changes in plasma accurately reflected changes in the cerebrospinal fluid, validating blood as a reliable source for the…

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