Researchers at Rowan University have developed a blood test to detect early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, a development with great promise for treatment of the disease that destroys memory and other mental functions. Gerontology professor, Dr. Robert Nagele, who led the research team, spoke to NJTV about the breakthrough.
Nagele, who lost his father to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases in January, said, “I promised my mother that I would fix this.” He and the team of researchers developed a test that detected early signs of the disease with 100 percent accuracy in 50 test patients.
Until now doctors have been using tests that essentially helped them guess whether a patient had the debilitating disease; Alzheimer’s affects more than 5 million Americans.
Ken Zaentz, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s New Jersey, told NJTV the research results hold great promise. “Having that early diagnosis and being able to have that much more time to engage in planning is extremely important,” he said.
The Rowan researchers said the same testing is nearly 88 percent effective in detecting Parkinson’s disease. It is also in a trial for detection of multiple sclerosis.
on NJTV, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.