Blood Test Predicts Alzheimer's

Breakthrough diagnosis could aid treatment
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2007 3:24 AM CDT
Alzheimer's patient Dorothy Eckert, left, hugs her daughter Louise Eckert at their home in Norristown Pa., Thursday, April 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A new blood test not only diagnoses Alzheimer's, but it can predict with 91% accuracy who will suffer from the disease in the future, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The test, developed by San Francisco company Satoris, identifies the disease by detecting unusual activity in 18 proteins associated with the illness.

Alzheimer's, which afflicts 4.5 million Americans, is notoriously difficult to diagnose.  Because serious damage to the brain usually occurs before the illness is identified, "we need to be able to predict who's going to get this disease," said one expert.