Putting Tau to the Test

In a major win for Alzheimer’s research, an inexpensive blood test appears to identify the disease just as well as pricier and more invasive methods—and it could be available in 2–3 years, the New York Times reports.
 
The test, which measures a form of the tau protein that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s, was 96% accurate in identifying whether people with dementia had Alzheimer’s as opposed to other neurodegenerative disorders. It also picked up signs of the disease 20 years before dementia symptoms would surface. 
 
The University of California, San Francisco study, published in JAMA, is a breakthrough for a field that has seen a string of failures in the quest to treat and prevent this devastating disease.
 
Now, there’s hope that diagnostic blood tests could expedite research, and make diagnostics more accessible to vulnerable communities, Medscape reports.

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