ST. LOUIS – A breakthrough in Alzheimer’s research happened right here in St. Louis.
Washington University School of Medicine doctors said they’ve created a test that can indicate, with a great deal of certainty, if a person has Alzheimer’s. Experts said that’s a big deal.
“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Dr. Randall Bateman, a Washington University neurologist, who co-founded the company C2N.
Bateman said his blood test is less expensive than tests like a spinal tap or brain scan.
He said his company’s test can find Alzheimer’s plats earlier than brain scans.
“Having an accurate early diagnosis is quite important to patients and family member it tells them what’s going on and how to manage the treatment,” he said.
If a person is diagnosed with the disease, that causes memory loss and other mental problems, doctors can begin the correct treatment immediately and possibly enter patients in drug trials or other studies.
The test is in the process of receiving FDA approval, but doctors can use it now. The simple blood test has virtually no risk for patients.
At the Missouri Chapter of the Alzehimer’s Association, they know how important this type of development can be.
“We support the science of moving this forward,” said organization president Stacy Tew-Lovasz.
She said Alzheimer’s is under detected and under diagnosed. The test may change that for many people who learn they have it.
“They’re able to get the right treatment and the right care,” she said. “We’re at the epicenter of the best and the brightest research in the world.”
Bateman and his colleagues are now searching to find a prevention to Alzheimer’s.