Would YOU want to know you've got Alzheimer's? Warning that NHS trial of blood tests to improve 'shocking' diagnosis rates may WRONGLY tell patients they have incurable disease

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Cheap humor tests being utilized to spot Alzheimer's could wrongly show group they person nan incurable disease, experts warned today.

In efforts to revolutionise 'shocking' diagnostic rates, thousands of Brits will person their humor tested for signs of nan memory-robbing illness.

Scientists dream nan NHS tests will let patients to beryllium diagnosed quicker, allowing them to get treated earlier. Roughly 1 successful 3 group surviving pinch dementia person yet to person a general test and moreover patients told they person nan illness tin person to hold years to find out.

Experts, however, cautioned nan game-changing tests – which costs astir £100 – could moreover supply 'false positives'.

Under 2 landmark trials, researchers from Oxford and University College London, will usage nan inexpensive tests to observe proteins successful nan humor linked to nan illness and different forms of dementia 

Alzheimer's illness is nan astir communal origin of dementia. The illness tin origin anxiety, disorder and short-term representation loss

Dr Sebastian Walsh, an master successful dementia consequence simplification from the University of Cambridge, told MailOnline: 'It’s really important to understand who is and isn’t represented by immoderate study. 

'These projected studies are to beryllium conducted successful representation clinics. 

'Memory clinics are not nan only spot group pinch – arsenic yet undiagnosed – dementia coming to wellness systems, they spot a circumstantial group of group referred in. 

'So it’s important not to generalise beyond nan group being considered.'

He added: 'A sizeable chunk of group who trial "positive" connected these humor tests, which measurement a macromolecule level, don’t person dementia and won’t ever get dementia earlier they die. 

'So it’s really important to understand precisely what we are and aren’t aiming to usage these humor tests to achieve. We request to spot much item of nan study protocols.'

Other experts person warned rolling retired nan trial en masse would origin unnecessary interest and worry among those who will ne'er suffer from representation aliases reasoning problems.

Meanwhile, Professor Andrew Doig, an master successful biochemistry astatine nan University of Manchester told MailOnline: 'What we dream to do is detect, study connected things going incorrect successful nan encephalon a agelong clip earlier they really person immoderate symptoms and only representation problems.'

However, alongside identifying patients who could use from caller drugs, 'there mightiness beryllium mendacious positives', he added. 

'You could respect it arsenic saying you've sewage hypertension. So if your humor unit is really high, but that doesn't mean you person hypertension, it conscionable intends you're precocious risk.

'And nan aforesaid pinch precocious cholesterol. And it mightiness mean you request you mightiness use from narcotics to little your humor pressure. 

'But we person to do nan trial and hopefully we'll extremity up pinch a people of curen that provides nan champion possibility.'

Despite being incurable astatine nan moment, promising caller narcotics to thief dainty dementia are connected nan horizon. 

The first of these medicines – lecanemab – was precocious approved successful nan US and Japan, wherever treatments utilizing it person already been launched. 

A 2nd drug, donanemab, is expected to travel soon, and it is anticipated that nan UK aesculapian authorities will see some of them for support successful Britain. 

But location are besides superior imaginable broadside effects, including swelling and bleeding.

Meanwhile Professor Doig said: 'Other drugs, which activity successful a akin benignant of way, mightiness good beryllium amended and person less broadside effects. 

'The individual narcotics constituent nan measurement to others which would beryllium a existent benefit.' 

Dr Richard Oakley, subordinate head of investigation and invention astatine nan Alzheimer's Society, said nan tests of nan tests, which are part-funded by nan People's Postcode Lottery, were a important last measurement successful getting nan tests into nan clinic.

Professor Paresh Malhotra, an master successful objective neurology based astatine Imperial College London told MailOnline nan humor tests 'are a awesome breakthrough'.

He added: 'However, it is critically important to beryllium alert they are only informative erstwhile mixed pinch objective assessment. 

'These important tests will thief america understand really they tin beryllium practically implemented successful nan NHS and really they impact nan measurement we diagnose nan diseases that origin dementia, peculiarly Alzheimer’s illness which is nan astir communal origin of dementia.'

Meanwhile, Professor John Hardy, an master successful neurodegenerative diseases astatine UCL, told MailOnline: 'In investigation settings we tin place those astatine precocious consequence of illness very good and spot humor changes earlier nan illness onset. 

'There has been overmuch advancement but location is still a measurement to go. Also, erstwhile nan technological questions person been answered, we request to organise NHS dementia attraction truthful that we tin usage these tests successful regular objective practice.'

Currently, receiving a general dementia test successful nan UK relies connected intelligence expertise tests, encephalon scans aliases invasive and achy lumbar punctures. 

Researchers dream nan humor trial could velocity up nan process, allowing patients to get treated earlier and clasp disconnected nan sadistic illness' onslaught.

The trials, which are expected to costs astir £10million, are group to return spot crossed nan UK and will beryllium carried retired pinch group who person reported symptoms to their GP and who whitethorn beryllium successful nan early stages of dementia.

Under nan first, involving 1,100 people, half of nan patients will beryllium fixed results aft 3 months, and half aft 12 months. 

The researchers will past beryllium capable to analyse if getting an earlier test improves patients' care.  

Professor Jonathan Schott, an master successful neurology astatine UCL, who will behaviour nan trial said nan elemental humor trial could beryllium 'potentially game-changing' for dementia sufferers.

The 2nd proceedings will study humor tests of astir 4,000 group to spot which are astir effective astatine distinguishing different types of dementia, specified arsenic Alzheimer's, lewy assemblage dementia, and vascular dementia.

Scientists will besides study whether nan tests tin beryllium administered successful different forms — specified arsenic by pricking a digit astatine location and posting nan tests for analysis.  

Around 944,000 successful nan UK are thought to beryllium surviving pinch dementia, while nan fig is thought to beryllium astir 7million successful nan US.

Alzheimer's affects astir six successful 10 group pinch dementia.

It is thought to beryllium caused by a build-up of amyloid and tau successful nan brain, which clump together and from plaques and tangles that make it harder for nan encephalon to activity properly.

Eventually, nan encephalon struggles to header pinch this harm and dementia symptoms develop.

Memory problems, reasoning and reasoning difficulties and connection problems are communal early symptoms of nan condition, which past worsen complete time.

Dementia are expected to sky-rocket successful nan coming years, making a inexpensive screening instrumentality captious to get to grips pinch nan challenge.

Alzheimer's Research UK study recovered 74,261 group died from dementia successful 2022 compared pinch 69,178 a twelvemonth earlier, making it nan country's biggest killer.

What is Alzheimer's? 

Alzheimer's illness is simply a progressive, degenerative illness of nan brain, successful which build-up of abnormal proteins causes nervus cells to die.

This disrupts nan transmitters that transportation messages, and causes nan encephalon to shrink. 

More than 5 cardinal group suffer from nan illness successful nan US, wherever it is nan 6th starring origin of death, and much than 1 cardinal Britons person it.


As encephalon cells die, nan functions they supply are lost. 

That includes memory, predisposition and nan expertise to deliberation and reason. 

The advancement of nan illness is slow and gradual. 

On average, patients unrecorded 5 to 7 years aft diagnosis, but immoderate whitethorn unrecorded for 10 to 15 years.


  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Disorientation
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulties dealing pinch money aliases making a telephone call 


  • Severe representation loss, forgetting adjacent family members, acquainted objects aliases places
  • Becoming anxious and disappointment complete inability to make consciousness of nan world, starring to fierce behavior 
  • Eventually suffer expertise to walk
  • May person problems eating 
  • The mostly will yet request 24-hour care   

 Source: Alzheimer's Association

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