New hope for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Researchers say there’s new hope for diagnosing and treating Alzheimer’s Disease.  They say a new blood test is 90 percent accurate in predicting if someone may get the disease.  So, could this research help find a cure or better treatment in the future?

Right now, there’s not a test that can accurately predict if and when someone will get Alzheimer’s.  The research has some people who work close to the cause in the area speaking out about it.

“I think everybody if they could would want to know what the future could hold,” Director of the Northern Indiana Alzheimer’s Association Ann Hathaway said.

A new blood test is offering hope in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  Researchers say the blood test is 90 percent accurate in predicting whether someone in their 70s will get Alzheimer’s within three years.  The director of the Northern Indiana Alzheimer’s Association says the fact that scientists only studied about 500 people 70 or older doesn’t make her a believer quite yet.

“I guess I’m just cautious right now saying this will be the end all to end all. It may not be what we’re thinking it is at this point because it is just too new.”

During the study researchers found 53 of the 525 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or an early form of dementia.  And a group of lipids or fats may be what doctors need to keep an eye on.

“As far as tests, there really aren’t any that give an accurate diagnosis,” Alzheimer’s Association Care Consultant Lori Stock said, “And that’s why this research is so important.”

The lead author of the study at Georgetown University says they did find a couple of false positives in healthy patients  With that being said, more research needs to be done with a larger number of patients.

“That translates into more research dollars needs to be poured into Alzheimer’s research and more people who are willing to be used as test subjects.”

The Alzheimer’s Association has a great resource for anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s or even this particular study.  If you have questions, you’re asked to call their 24-hour helpline at (800) 272-3900.  They say you will be connected with an expert from either Fort Wayne or Indianapolis.

The 24-hour helpline allows you to:

  • Talk with a professional about your questions
  • Learn about education programs for people with memory concerns, caregivers, family and friends
  • Understand more about memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Discover resources available in the community

How you can help researchers find a cure

The Alzheimer’s Association offers something called TrialMatch.  It is free.  It connects you with clinical studies in the area.  Anyone can help contribute to research.  There are currently 130+ clinical studies being conducted at nearly 500 trial sites across the country.  To learn more, click here to be directed to the website, or you can call (800) 272-3900.

Alzheimer’s Association Education Conference

The Alzheimer’s Association invites you to its inaugural statewide education conference in Indianapolis on Friday, April 25, 2014 at the Indianapolis Marriott North.  For complete conference details call (800) 272-3900.


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