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HKUST’s blood test for Alzheimer’s shows improved accuracy

An international research team led by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has developed a universal diagnostic blood test for AD and MCI that demonstrated improved accuracy rates.

The team is spearheaded by HKUST president and the morningside professor of life science and Hong Kong Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (HKCeND) director Nancy IP.

The new test offers a solution for early detection and management of these conditions on a global scale.

It has shown accuracy rates of more than 96% for AD and 87% for MCI and is applicable across different ethnic groups.

Unlike other assays that focus on a single biomarker, the HKUST blood test measures 21 proteins levels, capturing multiple AD-associated biological pathways.

This comprehensive approach is expected to improve accuracy and aids in monitoring disease progression.

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In a multinational study, the team has demonstrated the test’s performance in identifying individuals with AD and MCI and detecting brain amyloid pathology.

Nancy IP said: “Our blood test heralds a new era of simple, effective and less invasive diagnostics, and by expanding the scope of our research to include diverse populations, we have taken a crucial step towards making our test a universally applicable tool for AD diagnosis.

“Our test can also be used to screen suitable individuals for specific drug treatments in clinical studies, and closely monitor disease progression and drug responses. In the future, it may also facilitate the development of personalised treatments, by shedding light on the molecular underpinnings of AD that vary from person to person and between ethnicities.”

The research project involved collaboration with University College London, the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center, and clinicians from hospitals including the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain, and the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong.

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