Korean researchers discover new way to detect Alzheimer’s through blood test

November 7, 2014
Dr. Kim Young-soo and his team (Courtesy of KIST)

Dr. Kim Young-soo and his team (Courtesy of KIST)

Dr. Kim Young-soo and his research team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have established a technique to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease through blood tests.

Although other labs have recently made similar claims, what makes the Korean researchers’ method unique is that it identifies the disease through the presence of Amyloid-β (Aβ) in the blood.

Aβ is a key component of amyloid plaque, which is frequently found in, and unique to the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

In order to test this hypothesis, Dr. Kim and his team inserted large amounts of Aβ into the brains of mice and tested blood levels to see if it would circulate through to the blood.

The results proved that this was precisely the case and after an extensive peer-review, the study was published in Scientific Journal on Oct. 27.

At the moment, no commercial medical device can easily detect Aβ levels in blood. KIST’s Open Research program is currently working on that front so that the procedure can be available to the public.