BY: CLAIRE KIM
This past Tuesday, scientists reported that they have successfully developed a new blood test that can diagnose signs of Alzheimer’s Disease, arguably more accurate and cost-efficient than the current methods used. “The test has the potential to make diagnosis simpler, more affordable, and widely available.” (New York Times)
According to research by JAMA, with this test, scientists will now be able to predict the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease up to 20 years in advance, before any real signs show, a prospect that will truly change the landscape of neural disorder examinations for the better. For the longest time, one of the greatest concerns that came with checking for such signs of Alzheimer’s Disease was the uncertainty of doctor-checked responses; tested patients often left their consultations with no real, hard-pressed answers. However, with this new test available, this uncomfortable feeling of hope mixed with fear can now be evaded. In fact, we’ll now be able to leave our consultation with a clear idea of our current psyche status, even as young adults in our late 20s to early 30s.
What also makes this new blood test so exciting to hear about is the fact that “a blood test like this might also eventually be used to predict whether someone with no symptoms would develop Alzheimer’s.” (New York Times) If it wasn’t already amazing enough that this test could diagnose an accurate statement of Alzheimer’s Disease with elementary symptoms, in a couple of years, we might find ourselves in a consultation room checking to see if we “could” have it without showing any symptoms whatsoever. That’s really amazing.
An obvious reason as to why scientists have shown immense excitement and interest in this medical development is how cost-efficient it is, allowing for expenses of current research to be cut and for more trials to be conducted as a result of extra funding leftover.
In terms of when such tests will become available for clinical use, it seems like the new blood test will probably be released around 2 to 3 years from now. Get excited!