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Simple Blood Test May Predict Alzheimers Disease

A team of British scientists claims they can soon release the worlds first blood test that identifies the risk of Alzheimers . If so, the NHS Trust of UK will stand to save billions of pounds per year, as Alzheimers disease, one of the most common neurological diseases in the western world, costs the NHS up to 17 billion pounds per year.

According to the scientists, they have identified a series of proteins, which are most commonly found in those with a predisposition to Alzheimers. In this case, such a test would be a life saver, as an early diet of the recommended omega-3 fatty acids and vegetables may well keep the debilitating neurological ailment at bay.

An estimated 700,000 people in the UK have dementia, and more than half of these have Alzheimer's. Experts believe that delaying the onset of dementia by five years could save 30,000 lives annually.

Alzheimer's affects one in 10 people over the age of 65. The only clinical tests are expensive brain scans carried out in hospitals or painful lumbar punctures to test spinal fluid, which can have side effects. The early stages are difficult to diagnose. The degenerative disease affects brain cells, which leads to memory loss and mood changes.

Meanwhile, the blood test is still to be put through rigorous trials and accordingly, it would not be available in GP surgeries for five to ten years.

Says Dr. Madhav Thambisetty, researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College: "The frustration for so many people has been that by the time you are diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it is effectively too late to do much about it. The challenge has been to find what may cause Alzheimer's and to see if we can identify it before it sets in and therefore give patients an opportunity to have effective treatment. "Our holy grail is to devise a simple blood test that can eventually be administered at a GP's surgery. "We feel we are very close to that although we
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