Researchers have developed a blood test that may detect Alzheimer’s disease up to 20 years before the onset of cognitive impairment in people with a genetic predisposition to the illness, according to a large international study published on July 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The test requires more research, but scientists believe it could aid in the recognition, diagnosis, and support of patients in primary care settings within the next two years.
Alzheimer’s affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older. Experts predict the number of cases in the United States will reach nearly 14 million by 2050. An autopsy is currently the only way to diagnose the disease with certainty. —J.B.