It’s hoped a new blood test may help to identify people who are at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease well before symptoms emerge.
Researcher Godfrey Coker, with the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute, says the blood test searches for a brain amyloid, a protein that’s a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s, which afflicts 66,000 Iowans.
“This new research shows blood tests can identify specific brain amyloid proteins and help identify people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s symptoms,” Coker says. “This could greatly speed enrollment in clinical trials like the AHEAD Study and lead to important treatments.”
The AHEAD Study and is seeking volunteers from Iowa and across the U-S and Canada. Coker says it’s the first time such a test will be used in a clinical trial aiming to prevent the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
“The study is enrolling people between the ages of 55 and 80 to test whether removing amyloid plaques in the brain can delay or prevent Alzheimer’s symptoms,” Coker says. “We anticipate that the simplicity of a blood test will increase participation in clinical trials, especially among communities of color, which are historically underrepresented in Alzheimer’s trials.”
Iowans who want to participate in the study would need to be willing to travel. There are no test sites in the state, but there are locations in several neighboring states, including: Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Madison and Rochester.
Learn more: aheadstudy.org or call 1-800-AHEAD-70.