A Korean research team has successfully developed a method to diagnose Alzheimer's disease via blood tests.
A research team led by Dr. Kim Young-soo from the Center for Neuro-medicine and Brain Science Institute at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced on Nov. 6 that they have succeeded in developing a method to detect the presence of Amyloid-β (Aβ), which is known to cause Alzheimer's disease, using blood tests. Previously, the existence of Aβ in the blood was reported many times, but there were different opinions about the possibility of diagnosing Alzheimer's disease with it.
The research team inserted a huge amount of Aβ into mouse brains to induce Alzheimer's disease and analyzed the amount of Aβ by taking a blood sample. They found that Aβ levels in the brain increased in tandem with a rise in Aβ levels in the blood. If the method is commercialized after going through clinical trials, it will be possible to delay the progress of Alzheimer's disease.
It is impossible to diagnose the disease at the moment with existing medical equipment, since a very small amount of Aβ exists in the blood. Hence, the research team from KIST's Open Research Program is trying to develop a device that can analyze Aβ.
The research findings were published online in the Oct. 27 issue of Scientific Reports, a scientific journal published by the Nature Publishing Group.