A Korean research team led by Dr. Kim Young-soo at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology has successfully developed a way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease from only a drop of blood.
Dr. Kim got the idea from the fact that beta amyloids, the protein that causes Alzheimer's disease and a biomarker to diagnose dementia, can be detected with a blood test, since it can move to the blood.
The existence of beta amyloids in the blood has been reported many times, but it has been unclear whether or not an increase in beta amyloids in the brain is reflected with a change in the level of beta amyloids in the blood. However, the research team has succeeded in scientifically proving the phenomenon.
After injecting a high dose of beta amyloids into the brain of a mouse to cause Alzheimer's disease, the team analyzed the amount in the blood. As a result, they found that the level of beta amyloids in the blood rose in tandem with an increase in beta amyloids in the brain.
Dr. Kim said, "We are planning to develop a portable lab-on-a-chip-type nano biosensor aimed at diagnosing Alzheimer's disease with a blood sample." He added, "Ultimately, we'd like to develop a paper biosensor to diagnose Alzheimer's disease by realizing a lab-on-a-chip on paper."
The research findings were first published online on Oct. 27 by Scientific Reports, a scientific journal published by the Nature Publishing Group.