Alzheimer’s disease — also considered to be the most prevalent form of dementia — is a condition that plagues millions of people around the world. In fact, in 2010, the global cost of treating dementia was estimated to be $604 billion; by 2050, projections say 135 million people will have dementia. As such, the doctors cite the importance and urgency of finding a cure or some form of treatment.
Now, scientists have reportedly taken a significant step that is believed to be able to detect the disease with a simple blood test. Thus far, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, and one of the biggest setbacks in finding a viable treatment is late diagnosis. As such, a simple screening test would be a game changer in terms of finding a cure.
“Memory problems are very common, but the challenge is identifying who is likely to develop dementia,” said Dr. Abdul Hye, lead author of the study from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, in a university-released press statement. “There are thousands of proteins in the blood, and this study is the culmination of many years’ work identifying which ones are clinically relevant. We now have a set of 10 proteins that can predict whether someone with early symptoms of memory loss, or mild cognitive impairment, will develop Alzheimer’s disease within a year, with a high level of accuracy.”