A simple test will detect Alzheimer’s disease before it begins to show symptoms. Australian researchers have developed a quick and very simple method.
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease. Its symptoms include progressive memory disorders and behaviors that sometimes completely prevent the patient from functioning in daily life and performing work. They also have a negative impact on social contacts. Data from the National Health Fund show that in 2022, 357,000 people were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related diseases in Poland. people. Although there is currently no cure for this disease, knowledge about it and its causes in the future may, to some extent, protect society against its negative effects. “While there is no actual cure for Alzheimer’s disease, knowing the risk can mean a huge difference to the person at risk,” note researchers from the Australian National University (ANU).
A test that will detect Alzheimer’s disease 20 years earlier
A group of scientists from Australia have developed a simple test that will make it possible to detect Alzheimer’s disease in a patient much earlier than it is currently – even before the first symptoms appear. The easy-to-use test is based on a small amount of the patient’s blood. All you need to do is take a drop of blood and then place it on a special device that is the size of a smartphone (it has a special chip inside it). Scientists have combined nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and molecular biology to develop a new method that looks for markers of Alzheimer’s disease proteins in the blood. These markers are telltale signs of early neurodegeneration. The nanotechnology chip supported by artificial intelligence then reacts to specific proteins.
“Currently, Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed mainly on the basis of deterioration of mental abilities when the disease has already seriously damaged the brain. Early detection, essential for effective treatment, typically requires invasive and expensive hospital procedures such as lumbar puncture, which can be physically and mentally taxing for patients.” – said the co-creator of the device, prof. Patrick Kluth.
A quick way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early
The new method requires only a small blood sample. Researchers said patients could receive results almost immediately. “A quick and simple test could be performed by family doctors and other specialists, which would eliminate the need to visit a hospital and would be particularly convenient for people living in remote, e.g. rural areas,” explains Prof. Patrick Kluth.
Detecting Alzheimer’s disease even 20 years before symptoms appear will allow you to react and implement appropriate actions.
“If a person can learn about their risk level this long in advance of becoming ill, it gives them plenty of time to make positive lifestyle changes and adopt appropriate treatment strategies, which can help slow the progression of the condition.” – said Shankar Dutt, one of the creators of the invention described in the magazine “Small Methods”.
The Alzheimer’s disease test will also detect other diseases
Scientists also note that the method they have developed can also be used to diagnose other diseases, such as:
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
“Blood is a complex liquid containing over 10,000 different biomolecules. By using advanced filtration techniques, our nanopore platform and intelligent machine learning algorithms, we may be able to identify even the most elusive proteins,” said Shankar Dutt.