The first blood test to help diagnose Alzheimer’s is already on sale in the United States, although it has not yet received approval from the FDA.
The test is sold under “more general rules for commercial laboratories. But even in this format, this blood test can fill a huge gap in the diagnosis of people with cognitive disease. Currently, the best way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, is to measure a protein with a brain PET scan, a diagnostic tool not available to most people, as it is usually not covered by insurance and can cost about $5000. This means that many people may not know that they develop age-related dementia.
A blood test developed by C2N Diagnostics in St. Louis is also not covered by insurance or Medicare, but its cost of $1250 may be more affordable for a wide range of people. It is intended only for those over 60, who are already being tested for Alzheimer’s disease.
Although the disease is incurable, earlier diagnosis may lead to treatment that will prolong patients’ ability to function normally. However, some researchers are concerned that no data on the accuracy of the test has been published so far.