Aug. 1, 2023 -- The first direct-to-consumer blood test for an early Alzheimer’s indicator is now available from Quest Diagnostics, revealing the risk for the disease years before symptoms appear.
“The AD-Detect Test for Alzheimer's Disease on questhealth.com – the first blood test available for consumer purchase that helps assess potential risk of developing Alzheimer's disease based on a brain protein that contributes to the condition,” Quest said in a press release.
The test costs $399 and uses the same technology as the test Quest provided for doctors last year.
More than 6 million Americans have Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia. The number is predicted to hit 14 million by 2060.
"One of the advantages of having an amyloid test is that it lets you know, potentially years in advance of even being symptomatic, that you are at risk for Alzheimer's," said Michael Racke, MD, Quest's medical director of neurology to Reuters.
The new test is for people over 18 who have mild memory loss or a family history of Alzheimer’s who want to know more about their own risk, Racke said.
“Users must first pay for the test on Quest's website,” Reuters reported. “A telemedicine doctor will review the purchase to ensure it is medically necessary and place an order on their behalf. Patients can review their results online and have the option to speak to a physician at no extra cost.”
Test takers would not qualify for further testing and potential new treatments if they have no symptoms, Reuters reported.
Still, they could benefit from adopting certain behaviors to lower their risk or delay onset, such as diet and exercise, Racke said. They also could be eligible for trials in pre-symptomatic individuals.