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Dementia blood test: New tool may detect disease risk a decade before signs show

3AW Breakfast

Melbourne researchers have discovered a promising test which measures a person’s risk of developing dementia ten years before the disease begins to take effect.

The blood test measures brain inflammation, which is a predictor for brain disease.

Dr Matthew Pase from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health said test is “really promising”, and could be the breakthrough needed for the development of drugs to treat the disease.

“One of the major problems with developing drugs for Alzheimer disease and other types of dementia is it’s very hard to tell who is at an increased risk and who might be suitable to go into studies to try and develop new drugs,” he told 3AW’s Kate and Quarters.

“By combining different measures we think are associated with an increased risk we might be able to get a better picture of who is at risk and who is not.”

In testing, Melbourne researchers found people with the highest level of inflammation markers were 38 per cent more likely to develop dementia in 10 years than those with lower inflammation levels.

But the blood test won’t be available to the public in the near future.

“This is a really promising area of research but certainly it’s still early days before something like this is available for the public,” Dr Pase said.

Press PLAY below for more.

Image: RapidEye

 

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