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How a Blood Test Detected Proteins Related to Alzheimer’s Disease

According to Dementia Australia, dementia is considered the second leading cause of death in the country. In 2016, the number of dementia-related deaths surpassed heart disease. For 2018, an estimated 425,416 Australian adults live with dementia, out of which 64 percent are women. By 2025, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to rise to 536,164 and to 1,100,890 by 2056. Although a cure is not available, early detection may lead to more effective treatment.

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 North Coast Alzheimer’s home 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.

Scientists from Australia and Japan recently developed blood tests that proved effective for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Here is what you need to know about this latest development. 

Trials Began

After developing the blood test, Australian researchers enlisted the aid of 252 adults to analyse its effectiveness. Japanese scientists evaluated the technique on 121 subjects. The people involved in the studies encompassed a wide range of health conditions, ranging from healthy to having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The blood test was created based on the knowledge that amyloid-beta proteins play a significant role in Alzheimer’s development, and it detects fragments of these proteins in the blood. The researchers then use the blood samples to calculate the amount of proteins harboured in the brain.

Similar tests introduced in 2017 demonstrated an 86 percent rate of success. However, Professor Colin Masters from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Victoria reported that the newly introduced test exceeds former blood tests in terms of accuracy, and it is as effective as imaging studies. Current methods of determining Alzheimer’s disease include cognitive ability testing combined with imaging studies. The ability to detect early phases of Alzheimer’s disease allows seniors to begin treatment protocols faster.

Recovering from a stroke, managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and a variety of other health-related situations can make it difficult for a senior to continue living at home without someone there to help. North Coast, NSW, live-in home care professionals are trained to help seniors who need 24/7 assistance. With the help of a live-in care worker, your elderly loved one can maintain a higher quality of life while ageing in place. 

Further Testing Needed

Although the tests proved impressive, the research teams explained that trials must be conducted on a broader scale before conclusive results could be determined. Ongoing research could take one year or more, and scientists hope their findings might eventually become a standard by which healthcare providers could diagnose Alzheimer’s disease accurately and inexpensively. Early detection might also lead to the development of new treatments. The scientists additionally cautioned that not all people with amyloid-beta proteins in their brain develop Alzheimer’s disease. The blood test would not be an effective means of diagnosing other types of dementia due to the wide range of factors that contribute to cognitive impairment.

Significance of Beta-Amyloid Proteins

It’s not unusual to have beta-amyloid proteins in the brain. Under normal circumstances, biological housekeeping processes keep the number of proteins in check by continual removal. However, for reasons still not completely understood, these processes fail and lead to an abnormal accumulation. The proteins then stick to each other and form clumps within neurons or along the synapses. The stickiness of the masses leads to neuron tangling, which interferes with normal chemical message transmissions and blood circulation. As a result, neurons eventually die.

Alzheimer’s disease is just one of the many health issues older adults are susceptible to. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to North Coast Home Care Assistance, an in-home care provider, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. To create a customised in-home care plan for your ageing loved one, call us at (02) 6646 3527 today.