Blood Test To Detect Alzheimer’s Goes On Sale To Labs

The Associated Press reports:

A company has started selling the first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, a leap for the field that could make it much easier for people to learn whether they have dementia. It also raises concern about the accuracy and impact of such life-altering news.

Independent experts are leery because key test results have not been published and the test has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — it’s being sold under more general rules for commercial labs. But they agree that a simple test that can be done in a doctor’s office has long been needed.

The best way now to measure the protein is a costly PET brain scan that usually is not covered by insurance. That means most people don’t get one and are left wondering if their problems are due to normal aging, Alzheimer’s or something else.

Forbes reports:

The PrecivityAD test looks at some of the same biomarkers that can be detected by CSF testing or PET scan. While the blood test is much more accessible, it’s also less accurate: the blood test matches the results of PET scan analysis in 86% of the patients tested.

Right now, the test is recommended for people who are already experiencing symptoms of dementia, not as a screening test for otherwise healthy people.

While the test is a promising step toward streamlining Alzheimer’s diagnosis, it’s far from definitive. Some Alzheimer’s doctors remain skeptical of the value of testing for amyloid beta alone.

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