Thai researchers develop blood test for dementia early warning
By peering into the future, we may be able to preserve memories of the past. Researchers at Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University have developed a test that can forecast Alzheimer’s Disease 10 years before the onset of symptoms by detecting certain markers in a person’s blood, giving those vulnerable to the disease an early warning.
The innovation, as reported by Biospectrumasia, a Singapore-based health sciences website, comes just weeks after scientists at the University of Washington in the U.S. also announced they had developed a blood test that can detect Alzheimer’s Disease a decade in advance.
The two tests use different methods and approaches. The Thai researchers claim that their tests are 88 percent accurate and less complex, less painful and less expensive than traditional methods of early detection. Those methods generally involve taking samples of a patient’s spinal fluid.
The Singapore website reported that Thai scientists “are using immunological techniques to perform blood tests instead of spinal fluid, and analysis is done by Simoa (Single molecule array) or LC-MS (Mass spectrometer) detectors to detect phosphorylated Tau in the blood which can indicate the presence of latent Alzheimer’s, and Neurofilament light chan, a brain cells loss test.”
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, advance knowledge of the presence of the markers can give those who have them time to make health and lifestyle changes that could possibly help delay the onset of the disease.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia generally occur in people aged 60 and older, with 1 in 16 people over the age of 60 having a chance of developing the disease, while among those 80 and older, the ratio increases to 1 in 6, Biospectrumasia wrote.
Advanced medical research, technology and wellness is a priority sector in Thailand’s roadmap for advanced development. Public health has long been a national strength for the Kingdom.
Photo courtesy of https://www.chula.ac.th/en/highlight/96395/