Blood test predicts Alzheimer’s risk early

A five-year study involving 525 older adults (70+) found 46 had Alzheimer’s or aMCI and a further 28 went on to develop the conditions. The blood levels of 10 specific lipids predicted with more than 90% accuracy whether an individual would go on to develop either Alzheimer’s or aMCI within 2-3 years. The researchers speculate that the lower lipid levels could be an early indication that brain cells are beginning to lose their integrity and break down.

The continual failures in human clinical trials of promising therapies has led to a growing belief that once the cognitive symptoms of the Alzheimer’s have emerged, it may be too late to slow or reverse the neurological damage. However, treatments begun early enough may be more effective. This is why early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s risk is so critical.

[3588] Mapstone M, Cheema AK, Fiandaca MS, Zhong X, Mhyre TR, MacArthur LH, Hall WJ, Fisher SG, Peterson DR, Haley JM, et al. Plasma phospholipids identify antecedent memory impairment in older adults. Nature Medicine [Internet]. 2014 ;20(4):415 - 418. Available from:

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