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One of the most horrifying aspects of incurable diseases is being a patient and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. One such case is Alzheimer’s disease, a medical condition with terrible consequences, both mental and physical. Once the first symptoms are noticed, the patient’s condition is on a course towards gradual deterioration. So far, we have been unable to understand or observe even one of the early signs that are probably there before the disease is triggered and starts manifesting itself. But what if we suddenly could?
A research team from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine claims to have invented a new test that has 100% percent accuracy on detecting the very first signs of Alzheimer’s disease which, according to medical scientists, appear as early as 10 years before the symptoms appear.
Its “operation” is based on the ability to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a condition that has been identified to be one of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the result could be misleading since there are also various other medical conditions that include the aforementioned symptom. In order to make sure that the test does not deliver misleading results, a trial was scheduled.
The trial included 236 people, only 50 of which suffered MCI. There were also 50 with Alzheimer’s disease in a moderate state, 50 healthy people, while the remaining suffered from either Parkinson’s in various stages or breast cancer.
The results were amazing. The blood test was positive only to the 50 MCI patients, achieving 100% accuracy.
We will not go into complicated details about the method that is used in this breakthrough since some parts are considered to be complicated even for experts. The basic principle it follows is tracking the concentration levels of amyloid-beta 42 peptide that is contained in the cerebrospinal fluid of the human body. Low levels of this peptide have been linked to the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease.
Even though such an invention may seem pointless to some people since there are still no drugs or any type of treatment to cure the disease, it is extremely valuable. Finding ways to block the development of not only Alzheimer’s but every medical condition is a huge advantage since the “enemy” is a lot weaker when it is attacked in its early stages. Given the high number of patients (5.3 million in the US alone), it is imperative that we use every single resource we have, even the smallest one, to try to find effective cure for the devastating disease.