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This Breakthrough In Alzheimer's Research Could Revolutionise Diagnosis And Treatment

A research team at the University of York is working to develop a blood test which they believe could diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier.

This light-based technology will detect protein levels which are associated with the disease in a patient’s blood. The team are also developing a handheld device which could diagnose sufferers in seconds.

This research is being funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Steven Quinn from the University’s School of Physics, Engineering and Technology said that the technology had the potential to diagnose the disease without invasive and costly hospital procedures.

He added: “It could also be used to improve monitoring of patients already receiving treatment for the disease, as it will be sensitive enough to identify changes in the levels of the specific proteins that serve as indicators of Alzheimer’s in the bloodstream.”

These developments could help to tackle the Alzheimer’s crisis in the UK

Currently, according to Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia is the UK’s biggest health and social care crisis. This is because there are currently 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.

Additionally, Dr Richard Oakley from Alzheimer’s Society said to BBC News: “A third of people living with the condition do not have a diagnosis.

“This means they are missing out on being able to access much-needed care and support, as well as potential new treatments coming down the line.”

If the work from the University of York researchers is successful, it could mean earlier intervention in the treatment and diagnosis of the disease, as well as being able to rule it out sooner in patients who are struggling with cognitive abilities and memory.

Commenting on the news, Dr Sheona Scales, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “We’ve seen the enormous potential that blood tests are showing for improving the diagnostic process for people and their loved ones in other disease areas.

“Now we need to see this same step-change in dementia, which is the greatest health challenge facing the UK.’’

Here’s hoping.

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