Scientists have yet to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. There are many reasons treating this form of dementia is so challenging, one of which concerns early detection. Many seniors with Alzheimer’s receive their diagnosis after the early stages of the condition. By then, toxic proteins have caused irreparable damage to the brain. Scientists have recently developed a blood test that may be able to detect signs of Alzheimer’s when it’s in its earliest stages.
Early Detection of Beta-Amyloid Proteins
Scientists from Japan and Australia have developed a noninvasive blood test that detects the presence of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain. The causes of Alzheimer’s are not fully understood, but scientists know this toxic protein is frequently present in the brains of seniors with Alzheimer’s. While they’re not sure which mechanism causes toxic protein buildup, being able to detect protein buildup when it’s in its earliest stages is still a major breakthrough. According to the study released by the scientists, the new blood test can detect the presence of toxic proteins with 90 percent accuracy.
Alzheimer’s disease is one of many major health conditions seniors are susceptible to. Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Centennial live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life.
During their research, the scientists trialed 121 Japanese subjects and 252 Australian subjects, all of whom displayed a wide range of health. Some were perfectly healthy, while others already had Alzheimer’s disease. The 90 percent accuracy rate makes it the most effective means of detecting protein buildup yet developed. Brain scans and blood tests have been used before for this purpose, but none of the previous methods have offered this level of accuracy.
While every Alzheimer’s breakthrough is good news, the researchers behind the blood test note that their test is not yet ready for practical application. The team wants to conduct more research. This blood test could prove extremely useful, but it may not be applicable to every Alzheimer’s case. While the existence of protein buildup and Alzheimer’s have a very high correlation, not every senior with Alzheimer’s has amyloid buildup.
Correctly diagnosing the disease is the first step toward creating a comprehensive in-home Alzheimer’s care plan. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Centennial families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
The Potential Upside
Regardless of the limitations of this blood test, it’s still a big breakthrough for Alzheimer’s research. It helps doctors catch Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages via an easy, noninvasive method. If people are aware of their condition before protein buildup causes major damage to the brain, they can get earlier access to treatments. While there are no current treatments that reverse the damage caused by Alzheimer’s, there are some that mitigate the symptoms. As treatment options continue to get better, an early diagnosis will become more and more essential. The scientists behind the study hope to widen the scope of their research so it can be made available to the public as soon as possible.
Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors to manage without assistance, and it can be just as challenging for families who do not have experience in providing Alzheimer’s care. For trusted Centennial Alzheimer’s care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method was designed to help seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions live happier and healthier lives. To create a customized care plan for your aging loved one, call us at (303) 957-3100 today.