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A Blood Test Can Predict Dementia. Trouble Is, There’s No Cure

May 21, 2019, 8:30 PM

Nobel prizewinner Koichi Tanaka says the predictive blood test for Alzheimer’s disease he and colleagues spent almost a decade developing is a double-edged sword.

Without medications to stave off the memory-robbing condition, identifying those at risk will do nothing to ease the dementia burden and may fuel anxiety. But used to identify the best patients to enroll in drug studies, the minimally invasive exam could speed the development of therapies for the 152 million people predicted to develop the illness by 2050.

Koichi Tanaka
Photographer: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg

“We must be cautious on how the test is used because there’s no curative treatment,” Tanaka said ...