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NHS to launch study to assess Alzheimer’s blood tests

By November 10, 2023No Comments

The NHS are set to launch a study to assess Alzheimer’s blood tests. If successful, blood tests could revolutionise the diagnosis of the disease, allowing for earlier diagnosis and subsequent treatment which would slow its progression.

The NHS Blood Biomarker Challenge project is set to run for five years and has been backed by £5 million of funding. It seeks to recruit 1,000 NHS patients for the study.

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be a difficult process and while a blood test can not definitively diagnose the disease, it may prove to be an easy and inexpensive way of detecting key biomarkers.

The blood tests can pick up traces of brain proteins in the bloodstream, which can occur decades before an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. These tests are currently available at some private healthcare clinics in the United States, while recently developed drugs can clear the buildup of the aforementioned proteins in the brain.

The tests can also be used to measure how effective the drugs are at ridding the brain, and therefore the bloodstream, of the damaging proteins.

The Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK and the National Institute for Health and Care Research are working with the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London for the project.

Before they is introduced into the NHS, UK regulators would still need to approve the blood tests, and research would need to show their cost-effectiveness.