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A new blood test may be able to provide earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease.

A new blood test may be able to provide earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease.

Despite being the fourth-leading cause of death among adults around the world, we are still no closer to thoroughly understanding — and more importantly, curing — Alzheimer's disease. This age-related neurological condition slowly cripples brain health among the elderly, eroding away memory support and stealing the ability to perform even the most basic of functions that used to be so familiar. But according to The Washington Post, there's a new hope on the horizon, as a team of British researchers have recently discovered 10 blood proteins that may play a significant role in diagnosing Alzheimer's early.

"Alzheimer's begins to affect the brain many years before patients are diagnosed with the disease," the study's senior author, Simon Lovestone of Oxford University, told the source. "Many of our drug trials are fail because by the time patients are given the drugs, the brain has already been too severely affected. A simple blood test could help us identify patients at a much earlier stage to take part in new trials and hopefully develop treatments which could prevent the progression of the disease."

The blood proteins found by Lovestone's team carried an 87 percent success rate in determining whether or not a person's memory loss could lead to Alzheimer's disease within a year. While further research needs to be done to improve this level of accuracy, it's a promising start for a test that could be used to predict a person's development of dementia in the near future.

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