New Blood Tests Can Help Detect Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s can now be detected from blood tests a new study reveals – a major breakthrough in the diagnosis of such a life affecting disease. Throughout the research – which was collected over several years from over 1,182 patients at different stages with the disease – scientists analysed neurofilament light protein (NFL) in blood samples taken from the group – which also included 401 healthy subjects.

The study found that blood tests can reveal whether there is accelerating nerve cell damage in the brain, suggesting that we can now see if the NFL concentration in a patient’s blood could be able to indicate if a drug affects the loss of nerve cells. Questions have been asked over the years about medicine being used to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disease and how they are affecting the loss of nerve cells when an optimal dosage of the drug has been reached.

If nerve cells in the brain are damaged then NFL protein releases into the cerebrospinal fluid and then into the blood. For years researchers have been trying to test very sensitive methods to identify substances such as NFL in the blood, but none have been as successful as this recent study, published in JAMA Neurology.

Alzheimer’s is a very sad and complex disease that can develop over time. It affects a large number of people in the UK, typically older people. We’re so pleased to see that new studies being carried out could stop this terrible disease in the future.

At Phlebotomy Training Services, we have been working in the health industry for over 20 years in the Northallerton area. Providing opportunities for students to learn the skills of venepuncture and cannulation, we aim to open a number of doors for careers in the research and development of blood – helping studies like this continue into the future to solve some of today’s most tragic diseases. For more information or to book a course, call us on 01609 751610.