Test for Early Alzheimer's in Development

Diagnosis could allow for treatment to slow disease's progression
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2009 11:59 AM CDT
Test for Early Alzheimer's in Development
This image released by the United States Postal Service, shows the Alzheimer's postage stamp.   (AP Photo/USPS)

A research institute devoted to Alzheimer's and related diseases has teamed up with a major maker of diagnostic tests to speed development of what could be the first test to detect Alzheimer's in its early stages. If all goes well, the first commercial version of the test could be available in 12 to 18 months, possibly enabling patients to try to slow progression of the disease.

"This may be a way of monitoring how effective a treatment is for Alzheimer's disease" as well, through periodic retesting once scientists can develop a medicine to stop the mind-robbing disease, says the scientific director of the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute. The test works by detecting abnormal function of a protein that has been shown to be involved in memory storage, he said. (More Alzheimer's disease stories.)

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