"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

A brand new blood evaluation can predict dementia 10 years upfront

February 13, 2024 – A brand new method for assessing proteins in an individual's blood could potentially predict the likelihood of developing dementia greater than a decade later, based on a study published this week within the journal Aging in nature.

The findings may lead to what researchers call “ultra-early detection” of brain changes that may result in serious cognitive problems. There isn’t any cure for dementia, but earlier detection would add years to the time people could make lifestyle changes or take treatments to potentially prevent the disease from progressing.

Researchers analyzed nearly 1,500 proteins present in the blood and estimated an individual's risk of developing dementia over a period of about 15 years. Her Results confirmed previously reported links between dementia and three plasma proteins often called GFAP, NEFL and GDF15. A newcomer to the group of protein predictors called LTBP2 was amongst essentially the most predictive and versatile in the outcomes. Researchers were in a position to develop predictions for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.

The biggest breakthrough from this latest research is that the team combined the predictive power of various proteins to realize the next level of accuracy in determining an individual's long-term risk of dementia. The results were much more accurate when an individual's basic demographic details about age, gender and education was included, in addition to whether the person had a genetic predisposition to Alzheimer's disease based on the gene often called APOE4.

The study involved 52,645 adults who didn’t have dementia in the beginning of the study. The average age of individuals in the beginning was 58, 54% were women and 94% were white. Of the people within the study, 2.7% developed dementia during a median follow-up of 14 years. Of these cases, 219 people developed dementia inside 5 years, 833 inside 10 years, and 584 greater than 10 years after the beginning of the study.

A serious limitation of the study's results is that each one of the people within the study lived within the UK and it’s unclear whether the predictive accuracy will hold across a more diverse population.

One of the researchers said this Reuters According to the news agency, discussions are currently underway to develop a commercially available test based on the research results.