News / Health

Dementia Screening May be Possible with Blood Test

Could predict risk years before symptoms appear

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

A blood test that checks for levels of the Beta-amyloid protein could predict dementia risk.
A blood test that checks for levels of the Beta-amyloid protein could predict dementia risk.

New research suggests a relatively simple blood test might make it possible to predict who is at a higher risk for developing dementia.

The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's Disease, and currently, it can only be definitively diagnosed in an autopsy, by examining the brain. Beta-amyloid is a protein that shows up the brains of Alzheimer's victims. It's also present in spinal fluid and, in very small quantities, in the blood.

In a new report, researchers used nine years of data gathered on individuals who showed no sign of dementia when they started the study. Blood samples taken at the beginning of the study were compared with dementia scores at the end of the trial.

Professor Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, says the less beta-amyloid in a person’s blood, the higher their risk of dementia "because the idea is that it's clumping up or building in the brain. Therefore it's somehow lower when you measure it outside the brain."

Yaffe and her colleagues also found that people with low levels of beta-amyloid - what she calls an "at-risk signature" - tended to avoid dementia if they had more education or were mentally active.

There are no effective medical treatments to prevent Alzheimer's Disease. But she says this finding suggests that there might be a good reason to learn if you are at higher risk of dementia.

"You might be able to do something about it by using your brain more, exercising your brain, and really revving up the brain's plasticity to maybe withstand what might be an at-risk signature."

Yaffe's study is published in the journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA.



You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid