Alzheimer's disease is one of the worst diseases that strikes senior citizens by any standard. It steals memory, and erases names and faces of even the closest family and friends, and it claims a half million lives a year.
Researchers have developed a way to help determine those most at risk for developing the disease. In a first-of-its-kind study, a simple blood test was able to predict who would get Alzheimer's.
Researchers looked at the blood of healthy elderly people and checked for 10 fatty molecules called lipids. Those who had lower levels of lipids were more likely to develop Alzheimer's, or the memory problems that precede the disease.
The test was over 90% accurate, and on average, the change from healthy to sick, took just two years.
The researchers and the Alzheimer's Association point out that other labs need to validate that this test really works. Even if all goes well, the test won't be in doctors offices for several years.