What could possibly be worse than losing your memory and capacity of thinking? That’s how Alzheimer’s disease describes itself, and doctors are not sure even nowadays what triggers such havoc in the human body. But luckily for everyone, scientists are doing well at coming up with new ways of detecting and fighting the disease.
Thanks to C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis, humanity has a blood test capable of detecting if a person suffers from Alzheimer’s. The test has already gone on sale for most states from the US, and it was also cleared for sale in Europe. Even so, some people choose to remain skeptical about the efficiency of the test. There’s no approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, and key test results have not been published. However, the test is being sold for commercial labs under more general rules.
Beware of the symptoms
If a person doesn’t manifest memory loss, which is the classic symptom for Alzheimer’s, there’s no use running the test. Also, the suspected person needs to have evidence in the brain of a buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid. Since measuring the protein is done with a PET brain scan that most people don’t have access to, that’s where the test from C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis comes in handy.
The test costs $1,250
Since the blood test for the most common form of dementia is not covered by insurance or Medicare, C2N Diagnostics of St. Louis charges $1,250, and it also offers discounts based on the income of those who buy it. As soon as someone runs the test, his result will come in a maximum of 10 days.
Drs. David Holtzman and Randall Bateman of Washington University School of Medicine were the ones heading the research that led to the blood test for Alzheimer’s.