welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, December 4, 2020

alzheimers news-a new alzheimers blood test


i wrote several years ago about a research alzheimers blood test that will tell you if you have alzheimers disease so you wont have to have a spinal tap or an expensive amyvid pet scan to tell you
the amyvid pet scan has become the gold standard for diagnosing alzheimers disease
the problem its a scan its expensive around $3000-5000 

now coming on the market is an alzheimers blood test from c2n labs that will be available
it is not covered by insurance
its cost will be $1250
its not fda approved yet but the company plans to apply for fda approval eventually
its research data hasnt been published yet but will be eventually 
it is released to commercial labs eg usually that would be like quest or labcorp etc
it can be ordered by doctors only now

it will be advertised to the general public so expect to see ads about it soon

the alzheimers association hasnt given its opinion on its use since its not fda approved yet

the test measures two forms of amyloid and also measures the apoe 4 gene which is known as the late onset alzheimers gene

in comparing it to the amyvid pet scan the gold standard it was 92% accurate
it had some false positives and false negatives

so when is it suppose to be used in diagnosing alzhiemers
in patients over 60 years old
in patients who are having memory issues
in patients who are being evaluated for memory issues
which means a good neurological history and exam screening labs memory tests maybe an mri

here are two examples of when it could be used
a former patient recently contacted me about her elderly mother who after finishing chemotherapy developed memory issues
they question was it chemo brain from the chemotherapy or did she develop alzheimers symptoms
she could have an amyvid pet scan which if it was alzheimers would be positive for amyloid
she might have the new c2n labs alzheimers blood test 
if its is positive then she probably is having symptoms from alzheimers
if its negative it will be read out as low probability for alzheimers
sorry none of these tests are 100%

when i was diagnosed with early mild cognitive impairment 10 years ago i had a good through workup to include those tests mentioned above plus i had a positive spinal tap for amyloid and tau and eventually had an amyvid pet scan that was positive for amyloid in the aducanumab research study 
i also was positive for the double apoe 4 gene
several years earlier i could have just had this c2n labs alzhiemers test had it been available which would have been positive
that would have told me what i wanted to know at the beginning of all of this

also my younger brother could have had this alzheimers blood test done and it would probably have been positive

if a person who meets the criteria for the tests comes back negative then some other cause for the dementia should be searched for like chemo brain or lewy body dementia or frontotemporal dementia or the other dementias

so my guess is that it will find its place in working up folks for alzheimers disease as its cheaper and less invasive than a spinal tap or an amyvid pet scan

it will not be used as a screening device for the general public for alzheimers disease

right behind this is soon to be available are the alzheimers blood tests called ptau 217 and the nfl or neurofilament light chain test both of which will be more accurate 

we are now getting there to where we can diagnosis alzheimers with a good degree of accuracy
we just need a treatment that will slow down or cure alzheimers disease

here is a link to an article on the c2n alzheimers blood test

the organicgreen doctor 

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