Firms works on ‘transformative’ Alzheimer’s blood test

A Scottish research firm is teaming up with a global leader in diagnostic technology for what is hoped to result in a “transformative” new blood test that would allow doctors to identify Alzheimer’s disease earlier.

Edinburgh-based Scottish Brain Sciences announced it is to collaborate with Roche Diagnostics on a series of major projects, which founder Professor Craig Ritchie said could have “big impacts”.

The work aims to provide a better understanding of the earliest biological changes of neurodegenerative disease using blood based bio-markers.

It comes as more recent evidence has suggested changes could take place in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients before symptoms of the disease are present.

And it is hoped that being able to characterise and detect theses changes could lead to accurate early diagnostic tests, potentially allowing for patients to get treatment sooner.

“Early detection of brain changes associated with the earliest stages of neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s disease through blood testing will be transformative in the way we assess, manage, and conceptualise clinically Alzheimer’s disease,” Ritchie said.

“It will open the door to interventions used very early in the course of disease that are better targeted than current treatments.

“There will be an expectation of big impacts on disease course and even prevention of the late-stage dementia syndromes associated with neurodegenerative disease.”

Dr Ashton Harper, director of medical affairs for Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland, said Alzheimer’s disease was the major cause of dementia, which is currently the leading cause of death in the UK.


Katrine Bussey
(Australian Associated Press)


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