The first direct-to-consumer blood test to detect the initial Alzheimer’s indication is available at Quest Diagnostics, revealing the disease’s dangers before the symptoms manifest.
“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 stated in the form of a press announcement.
The test is priced at $399 and uses the same technology that the test Quest offered to doctors last year.
Over 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, the most prevalent form of dementia. It is expected to reach 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 test is aimed at those over 18 with slight memory problems or an Alzheimer’s family history who are interested in learning more about their risk, Racke said.
“Users must first pay for the test on Quest’s website,” Reuters said. “A physician who is a telemedicine specialist will examine the purchase to determine if the test is medically needed and then place an order on behalf of the patient. Patients can look over their results online and also have the option to talk to a physician without cost.”
Reuters reported that test takers aren’t eligible to undergo further testing or treatment options if they suffer from no signs or symptoms.
However, they may benefit from adopting certain habits to reduce their risk or delay its onset for onset, including eating a healthy diet and exercising, Racke said. They may also be able to participate in trials for people who aren’t symptomatic.
“There is nothing stopping me from – a year from now, when I’ve put a little weight back on – looking back at photos from this time and thinking I was way too skinny.”
Dan Azagury, MD, Bariatric surgeon and the associate Professor of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, is a patient who tests GLP-1s for those who are overweight before contemplating the possibility of bariatric surgery. In his patient group, it is possible that medications such as Ozempic could be an integral part of their treatment strategies.
“We’re not doing it for the cosmetic part of it, we’re doing it for health,” the doctor said. “What I tell my patients is, if you’re planning to start on this medication, you should be OK with the idea of staying on it forever.”
For doctors such as Thiara, who are experts in weight control, using Ozempic long-term with patients in a healthy weight range is not a good idea.