In this week's local health report, KRBC's Nora Hartfeil looked into a new blood test that can track the development of Alzheimer's.
It's a diagnosis feared by almost everyone as they age.
"As the disease progresses, you may begin to see deficits in language", says Dr. Russell Dickerson, of Abilene Regional Medical Center.
Often times, early stages of Alzheimer's go unnoticed, and there is no sure fire way to diagnose the disease.
"The quest, or the holy grail, has been to find a test that you can do while the patient is still alive that will provide certainty about the diagnosis", explains Dr. Dickerson.
There is no official Alzheimer's test. However, there are cognitive exams, and now, thanks to researchers here in Texas, there is a blood protein test in the works that can scan for risks of developing Alzheimer's.
"These proteins of the sort seem to be elevated in patients with Alzheimer's, and we're sure all these patients have Alzheimer's", Dr. Dickerson tells KRBC.
While genetic testing carries risks and a fair amount of controversy on its own, Abilene doctors urge the elderly population to, at the very least, be aware of symptoms.
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