WMNF: Study could bring more affordable Alzheimer’s detection


It’s estimated over 580 thousand Floridians are living with Alzheimer’s disease. A study could lead to a simpler way to detect the disease.

The study, called Bio-Hermes, showed how new Alzheimer’s detecting blood tests perform across a broad range of races and ethnicities for the first time.

Currently, scans or spinal taps to check for Alzheimer’s indicators are out of reach for most. Dr. Susan Steen of Axiom Brain Health oversaw the study in Tampa.

“It costs thousands of dollars. Somewhere between 5 and 8 thousand, sometimes more in certain communities, so it’s undoable for a lot of people.”

However, the findings of this study could show a future for quicker and more cost-effective detection. The study revealed a strong correlation between several blood tests, with the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain, a diagnostic hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The important thing is that people in the community are able to get these important scans and contribute to the science of diagnosing and understanding Alzheimer’s disease, and also if they wish, they can get the results.”

The study prioritized the inclusion of traditionally underrepresented populations. African Americans and Hispanic populations are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and related dementias compared to older white Americans.

“Historically, people of diversity have not been involved in clinical research, just overall. But particularly, in Alzheimer’s disease, we feel it’s very important.”

A follow-up study is set for later this year.

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