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Rowan Led Research Team Develops Highly Accurate Blood Test For Alzheimer's Disease

GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) -- Early detection of Alzheimer's Disease may be more possible than ever thanks to a group of researchers from Rowan University.

The team of researchers was led by Dr. Robert Nagele from the university's School of Osteopathic Medicine and Durin Technologies.

The group announced that they have developed a blood test that uses the immune system to find early stage Alzheimer's in patients. The study included 236 subjects.

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In terms of identifying early Alzheimer's in patients with mild cognitive impairment, or MCI, the overall accuracy rate was 100 percent, according to the researchers.

Cassandra DeMarshall, the lead author of the study, said that 60 percent of patients with MCI, have it due to an early stage of Alzheimer's. "Our results show that it is possible to use a small number of blood-borne autoantibodies to accurately diagnose early-stage Alzheimer's. These findings could eventually lead to the development of a simple, inexpensive and relatively noninvasive way to diagnose this devastating disease in its earliest stages," DeMarshall said in a statement.

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Nagele added that it is believed that "Alzheimer's related changes," occur in the brain at least ten years before common symptoms begin to show.

The researchers say that a larger study will be needed to verify whether or not their method will be a viable one for detecting Alzheimer's, but they do believe that their test could lead to earlier treatments that could offset the impact that the disease has on those who are suffering from it and for families with loved ones who develop it.

Click here to see the full published results of the study.

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