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Drop of blood can show biological age and predict Alzheimer's Disease

Drop of blood can show biological age and predict Alzheimer's DiseaseA blood test which shows how well people are ageing can predict the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s, researchers believe.

Scientists have identified a set of genes which must be functioning properly for ‘healthy ageing’ in 65-year-olds.

How well those genes are working can be added up into a ‘healthy age gene score.’ The lower the score the more likely disease is present or likely to develop.

Given that early intervention is important in Alzheimer’s, scientists at Kings College London say the test will help doctors decide which middle-aged subjects could be offered preventative therapies before the first symptoms of dementia begin to appear.

Although there are no drugs which stop dementia, new treatments which slow down the disease if given early enough, are showing early promise in trials.

It is also the first practical and accurate test for the rate at which individual bodies are ageing.

“Most people accept that all 60 year olds are not the same, but there has been no reliable test for underlying 'biological age',” said lead author James Timmons, from King’s College London.

“Our discovery provides the first robust molecular ‘signature’ of biological age in humans and should be able to transform the way that 'age' is used to make medical decisions.

“This includes identifying those more likely to be at risk of Alzheimer’s, as catching those at 'early' risk is key to evaluating potential treatments.

“This also provides strong evidence that dementia in humans could be called a type of ‘accelerated ageing’”

This new test holds great potential as with further research, it may help improve the development and evaluation of treatments that prolong good health in older age.

Source: The Telegraph
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