“Our results – from a sample of individuals from across mainland Britain who were all born in the same week in 1946 – show that blood tests may be a useful means of identifying individuals who are in the earliest stages of the disease.”
Prof Jonathan Schott added: “In the short term, this has implications for clinical trials of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Blood tests could allow for rapid screening, and reduction of the numbers who would need more expensive PET scans before entering a study.
“This would considerably reduce the costs and time it takes to run clinical trials, and will hopefully accelerate the development of new treatments.”
Dr Ashvini Keshavan, first author on the study, said: “In due course blood tests have the potential to revolutionise how we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, allowing access to better diagnostic tests in the community, and particularly in settings where more expensive PET scans and lumbar puncture tests are not currently available thus making access to any new treatments and support more equitable”.