Alzheimer's disease pictured left next to a healthy brain (Courtesy of Getty Images)
An innovative Alzheimer’s risk test that uses a biochip to identify Apolipoprotein (APoE), a gene considered one of the most important genetic risk factors for dementia, offers similar accuracy to existing DNA-based molecular tests, but yields results in three hours, offering superior speed in risk assessment.
Emma C. Harte, PhD, Randox research scientist, in Donegal, Ireland, said the test is “important in our quest to understand and diagnose Alzheimer’s and empower patients to understand risks, consider medication and even make early lifestyle changes.”
The novel Randox ApoE4 Biochip Array can run multiple tests on a single blood sample. Of the three versions of the ApoE gene (E2, E3 and E4), the E4 type increases a person’s risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and it may increase the risk of earlier onset of memory loss. When an individual inherits two copies of the E4 variant, a person’s disease risk rises tenfold or more.
Laura Newman is a New York-based medical writer that writes frequently about medical technological advances and health policy. She writes for the medical trade press, national health entities, and health care insurers.