Is there an accurate test for Alzheimer's disease?

Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine
Researchers have discovered what may prove to be a 100% accurate method for early detection of Alzheimer's disease.

In their study, researchers at Ghent University, Belgium, analyzed data from more than 400 seniors. A total of 114 were cognitively normal, 200 had mild cognitive impairment and 102 had Alzheimer's disease.

Without considering cognitive ability, researchers identified levels of three biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's in the participants' spinal fluid. The bio signature was discovered in 90% of Alzheimer's patients, 72% with cognitive impairment and 36% of those with no cognitive difficulties.

In follow-up tests, researchers confirmed the accuracy of the spinal tap test. Autopsies confirmed that 64 of 68 patients diagnosed as having Alzheimer's had the bio signature. The signature model also was 100% accurate in predicting which patients would develop Alzheimer's. The results indicate it may be possible to accurately diagnose Alzheimer's susceptibility in cognitively healthy individuals, according to the report.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's and many look at early detection as somewhat of a bad thing leading to needless worry, suffering and increased medical costs. I believe there is a middle ground. I would rather know, if the test was indeed accurate, so that I could prepare for my older years while I still had the cognitive ability to do so. And if an early diagnosis shows me how to not take a single day for granted ever again, then even if it turned out to be a wrong diagnosis, well maybe that isn't so bad.

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