A new study found that a simple blood test can detect beta-amyloid protein buildup in a person’s brain years before Alzheimer’s disease symptoms appear. The results were published online Aug. 1, 2019, by the journal Neurology.
High amounts of beta-amyloid can clump together and form plaques on the brain, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Other research has found that amyloid plaques can appear as early as 20 years before the first sign of Alzheimer’s symptoms, such as cognitive decline and memory loss.
In the study, 158 adults in their 60s and 70s — most of whom had normal cognitive function — underwent a PET scan to spot amyloid plaque in the brain, and a blood test to measure beta-amyloid in the body. The blood test looked for two forms of beta-amyloid protein: beta-amyloid 42 and beta-amyloid 40. When beta-amyloid begins to build up, the ratio between the two proteins changes, and the blood test detects this.
The researchers labeled each blood test result as either amyloid positive or negative. They then compared them with the PET scans. They found that the PET scans confirmed the blood test results 88% of the time. When other risk factors were included, such as age and the appearance of the gene variant ApoE4 (which also is linked to a higher risk for Alzheimer’s), the test’s accuracy rose to 94%.
While there is some debate as to whether amyloid plaque actually causes Alzheimer’s, a simple blood test that indicates you may be at a higher risk of the disease would be one more reason to adopt lifestyle changes. The researchers added that they expect the blood test to be available within a few years.
Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. Proverbs 10:12 NIV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 NIV
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31 NIV
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2 NIV
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 NIV
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 NIV
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 NIV
For, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. 1 Peter 3:10-11 NIV
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Song of songs 8:6 NIV
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 NIV
No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV
Recommended contacts for prayer request and Bible study