People with a rare hereditary form of Alzheimer’s Disease (Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Disease) have raised levels of a protein called neurofilament light chain (NfC) in their blood, arising from damage to previously healthy nerve cells. These elevated levels of NfCs can be detected up to 16 years before clinical symptoms of this sub-type of Alzheimer’s Disease are detectable, raising hopes for a relatively simple blood test to aid early diagnosis, at least for this particular type of dementia, in the future.
A blood test for Alzheimer’s remains a distant possibility, study suggests. London: NHS Digital (previously NHS Choices); Behind the Headlines, January 22nd 2019.
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Preische, O. Schultz, SA. [and] Apel, A. [et al]; Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (2018). Serum neurofilament dynamics predicts neurodegeneration and clinical progression in presymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease. Nature Medicine. January 21st 2019. [Epub ahead of print].