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Alzheimer's Disease

Blood Testing for Alzheimer's Disease

04/13/2000

Question:

Is there a blood test for Alzheimer`s?

Answer:

At present, there is no single diagnostic test for Alzheimer`s disease (AD). AD is diagnosed by ruling out all other diseases and conditions that can also cause dementia. The process involves a thorough medical history, mental status assessment, neurological and physical exam, MRI or CT scan, blood tests and psychological assessments. A blood test is available to identify which apolipoprotein E (ApoE) alleles a person has. ApoE is considered a `susceptibility` gene for AD and may influence the age of onset of the disease. It must be noted however that ApoE is not the sole cause of the disease. Based on our current research having a particular type of ApoE alleles may increase an individuals risk of developing AD but it can not accurately predict with any amount of certainty that a person will get the disease.

Related Resources:

The Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR)
The National Alzheimer's Association

For more information:

Go to the Alzheimer's Disease health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Jon Stuckey, PhD
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University