Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Study: Blood Test Detects Early Alzheimer's

Experimental Test Checks for Signs of Plaque in Brain

Blood Test for Plaque

To develop the noninvasive blood test, Burnham and colleagues used blood samples from 273 people participating in a large-scale study looking for new biomarkers for dementia.

First, they identified nine proteins that correlated with the amount of amyloid deposited in the brain.

"We set a cutoff level. Anyone above that point is thought to go on to get Alzheimer's disease in the next eight to 10 years. Anyone below that [level] is safe," she says.

When the blood test was administered to the same 273 participants, it correctly identified 83% of people with abnormally high levels of amyloid, as confirmed by PET scans. It also correctly identified 85% of people who didn't have high levels.

"That's pretty accurate when you consider that brain scans are only about 90% accurate," Burnham says.

The test was validated in 74 people participating in a U.S. study looking for Alzheimer's disease biomarkers.

Burnham doesn't know how much the new test will eventually cost, but points out that blood tests are typically inexpensive. She adds that CSIRO, which has a patent on the test, has approached several companies about commercial development.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Remember your finger
When it’s more than just forgetfulness.
senior man with serious expression
Which kinds are treatable?
senior man
Common symptoms to look for.
mri scan of human brain
Can drinking red wine reverse the disease?
eating blueberries
Colored mri of brain
Close up of elderly couple holding hands
mature woman
Woman comforting ailing mother
Senior woman with serious expression