Until now, the only way to measure plaques in the brain, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, has been through expensive and invasive testing methods that are generally only available in a research setting.
However, Doctor Koichi Tanaka has developed a minimally invasive, cost-effective blood test measuring for a specific peptide to detect if a person is at the earliest stages of Alzheimer's disease.
The test has shown to have a greater than 90 per cent accuracy at predicting people at risk of Alzheimer’s, raising hopes of earlier and more precise interventions in the treatment of the devastating condition.
It was developed as part of a 30 year journey and its success proven by Australian scientists at the Florey Institute and Japanese researchers at the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG).
To assess the accuracy of the approach, researchers compared samples indicating plaques taken at NCGG against patient samples with plaques from the Australian Imaging, Biomarker and Lifestyle Study.
This test will help detect if people are on the pathway to Alzheimer’s or if they are symptomatic, it can suggest that there are other causes - it may even suggest how quickly someone could deteriorate.