WIKIMEDIAA new test predicts Alzheimer’s disease with 93 percent accuracy, according to a study published in Genome Biology. Testing the blood of 202 people for 140 different microRNAs (miRNAs), a team of researchers at Saarland University, in Germany, identified 12 RNA fragments circulating at consistently different levels in healthy people and patients with Alzheimer’s, BBC News reported.
The neurodegeneration associated with the disease starts years before symptoms of dementia appear, and the test’s high degree of accuracy could help doctors diagnose the disease before large brain regions are damaged. “This is an interesting approach to studying changes in blood in Alzheimer's and suggests that microRNAs could be playing a role in the disease,” Eric Karran, of the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, told the BBC, though he added that “the translation of this into a blood test for Alzheimer's in the clinic is still some way off. . . . We need to see these findings confirmed in larger samples, and more work is needed to improve the test’s ability to distinguish Alzheimer’s from other neurological conditions.”