The New York Times - "What If You Knew Alzheimer’s Was Coming For You?" - Pagan Kennedy
Scientists say they are on the cusp of developing blood tests that could detect the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s damage in people in their 40s and 50s who have no obvious symptoms. Today, finding out whether dangerous plaques are building up in your brain requires either a PET scan at a cost of about $4,000 or a spinal tap. And while genetic tests can help predict risk, they don’t tell us anything about the current state of your brain. Effective blood tests could reveal thousands – even millions – of people who are now living with a “pre-Alzheimer’s” condition. So what would happen if something like an HIV test for Alzheimer’s were to exist in the near future, and millions of people found out that their brains were on the path to dementia? Alison Goate, DPhil, professor of neuroscience, neurology, genetics and genomic science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said the effects could be profound. Today there are no Alzheimer’s survivors. That means that Alzheimer’s patients “can’t speak for themselves,” she observed. Widespread blood tests could create an army of “pre-Alzheimer’s” patients clamoring for breakthroughs in treatment.
- Alison Goate, DPhil, Professor, Neuroscience, Neurology, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai