Blood Tests Can Predict Alzheimer's Disease
American researchers have found out that testing blood can reveal the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease in the following years. If the results are confirmed it would be real progress towards helping patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Currently, over 40 million people are suffering from a form of dementia around the world, by 2050 the number is expected to rise to over a hundred million. Almost three quarters of the victims will be poor and middle class people.
In most cases Alzheimer's disease hits the brain slowly. Patients may go on for several years without knowing it. According to doctors, most drugs do not help because they are given too late. Alzheimer's disease is one of many forms of dementia. It gets worse as time goes on. The disease causes memory problems and the inability to think clearly. And worst of all, there is no cure.
Scientists at Georgetown University in Washington have been testing the fat content of blood in 500 people aged 70 and older. According to the results, they can predict, fairly accurately, who will develop Alzheimer’s disease in the following years. They discovered that fat levels in blood start decreasing at about the same time brain cells start dying. If the tests prove to be true doctors could administer drugs at a much earlier stage, which would protect the brain from massive loss of memory.
Today doctors use computer scans to determine if there is damage to the brain. An examination based on blood would be an easier and cheaper way of testing patients. Although researchers are excited about the new blood-based tests they say that it will not be available for widespread use within the next five to ten years.
The breakthrough treatment, however, may also bring up problems. Many patients may not want to know if they are developing the illness. On the other side testing patients at the age of 40 or 50 could bring about relief from Alzheimer’s disease or stop the illness from spreading further.
- according to = as said by …
- accurately = correctly
- administer = give to someone
- although = while
- available = on hand, to be used
- brain = organ inside your head that controls how you think ,feel and move
- breakthrough treatment = here: therapy that is completely new and may be a way of helping many people
- confirm = prove
- currently = at the moment
- damage = destruction
- decrease = to go down
- dementia = an illness that affects the brain and makes you slowly lose the ability to think and behave normally
- determine = find out
- develop = get
- discover = find out something for the first time
- drugs = medicine
- examination = test
- fat content = how much fat is in a substance
- inability = not being able to
- massive = huge, very big
- memory = belong able to remember
- patient = a person who is ill and must receive medicine
- predict = foresee, tell what will happen in the future
- progress = a step forward
- researcher = a person who studies a topic very closely and tries to find out more about it
- reveal = show, bring to light
- rise = go up
- scientist = person who works in a laboratory and is trained in science
- spread = move from one place to another
- stage = time, period
- suffer = go through, mostly with pain
- victim = here: patient
- widespread = here: for everyone