Maybe you are like Vivienne Hill who lost her mother, Mary, to Alzheimer's disease. She sympathizes with families like hers that were effected and says, "It is horrible knowing that once you are diagnosed with Alzheimer's, it is a slow horrible journey." Mary suffered with Alzheimer's for eight years before she died.
NOW, RESEARCHERS ARE DEVELOPING A BLOOD TEST THAT COULD HELP FAMILIES WHO ARE COPING WITH THE DISEASE.
They've found ten proteins in the blood that could reveal early changes in the brain related to Alzheimer's - before a patient has symptoms. Scientists hope their findings will eventually lead to patients being put on drugs early to delay or even stop the disease because in the past 15 years, more than 100 experimental Alzheimer's drugs have failed in trial.
Professor Simon Lovestone, a researcher, weighs in on the blood test by saying, "You take a drug, and in effect you would have the clinical symptoms prevented - even if the disease has already started in your brain."
Researchers analyzed blood samples from more than a 1,000 people. They were able to predict with 87% ACCURACY whether people with mild memory and thinking problems would develop Alzheimer's within a year.
MANY PATIENTS WITH DEMENTIA ARE DIAGNOSED TOO LATE - RESEARCHERS HOPE THIS TEST WILL IDENTIFY THE DISEASE SOONER.
Vivienne Hill agrees that this would have been better for her family. She says, "If we had that blood test, it would have reassured us something is wrong. Knowledge is strength and we can start planning for future.
Vivienne Hill hopes the new findings will save others from the despair her family faced.