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Blood Test Might Spot Alzheimer's Early
Date:10/15/2007

ade progress in the development of early diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's. At the Alzheimer's Association's International Conference on Prevention of Dementia, in June, for instance, one group described a candidate test based on gene expression levels in blood.

"It's exciting to see this sort of work progress," said Dr. Sam Gandy, chair of the Alzheimer's Association's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council. "The important next step is to be sure that the report can be independently replicated."

Should that happen, Gandy said, patients would not be the only beneficiaries; the drug-development industry could use this assay to help select patient populations for trials of drugs to prevent -- as opposed to treat -- Alzheimer's disease.

"Because we don't have a marker that predicts [Alzheimer's] right now, such a trial is almost prohibitively expensive," he said -- "easily 10 times" the estimated $50 million required for standard clinical trials.

More information

For more on Alzheimer's Disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.



SOURCES: Tony Wyss-Coray, Ph.D., associate professor, neurology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.; Allan Levey, M.D., Ph.D., chairman, department of neurology, Emory University, Atlanta; Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., chairman, Alzheimers Association Medical & Scientific Advisory Council; Oct. 14, 2007, Nature Medicine online


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