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Blood test could detect Alzheimer's 15 years before symptoms

New research from the Alzheimer's Association says a new blood test has the potential to detect Alzheimer's 15 years before symptoms, could help for a faster cure.

The Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association released new research of a blood test that could detect the disease up to 15 years prior to the onset of symptoms.

The blood test has not yet been approved, but is the newest research in the fight against the disease that currently can only be confirmed by an autopsy or PET Scan.

"We don't have a simple and inexpensive test to confirm Alzheimer's that's also non-invasive and easily accessible," Clay Jacobs, Executive Director for the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association said.

The research focuses on a specific protein called PTAU-217. Think of it comparable to blood sugar being used to test for diabetes or cholesterol for heart disease. The number presence of the protein, researchers believe, could track the disease in real time and provide for early detection.

"The idea of an early indicator so we can treat with improved medications in lifestyle factors ensure a greater quality of life and delay onset of significant symptoms," Jacobs said.

RELATED: Scientists get closer to blood test for Alzheimer's disease

And, tracking the disease like this in real time gives a bigger boost to the overall fight.

"It would change the way we do research and speed up a cure," Jacobs said.

More than 400,000 Pennsylvanians live with Alzheimer's Disease or other types of dementia.

For more information on how you or someone you know affected by the disease could participate or help out with this research, and for continuing updates, you can visit the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association website

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