[ti:Possible Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Shows Early Promise] [by:www.51voa.com] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:00.04]Researchers in Japan and Australia say they have made progress [00:07.16]in developing a blood test that could one day [00:11.16]help doctors identify who might get Alzheimer's disease. [00:19.20]The scientists said the test can recognize a protein known as amyloid beta, [00:27.56]which other studies have linked to Alzheimer's. [00:32.80]They said it was correct more than 90 percent of the time [00:37.76]in a study involving over 370 people. [00:43.37]The findings were published in the journal Nature. [00:50.12]Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. [00:57.08]Experts believe dementia affects close to 50-million people worldwide. [01:05.60]By the year 2050, it is expected to affect more than 131 million people. [01:15.48]Those numbers come from Alzheimer's Disease International, a non-profit group. [01:22.92]Currently, doctors have two ways to identify a buildup of amyloid beta in the brain. [01:33.88]One is a brain scan or brain imaging; [01:38.80]the other is invasive cerebrospinal fluid testing, [01:44.60]also known as a spinal tap. [01:48.84]But both tests are invasive, costly [01:53.52]and may only show results when the disease has already started to progress. [02:01.24]There is no treatment that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's. [02:07.80]Current drugs can only ease some of the effects of the disease. [02:14.56]Having a simple, low-cost blood test could make it easier [02:19.86]for drug companies to find enough people who are at risk [02:24.48]of developing Alzheimer's to test new medicines, said Katsuhiko Yanagisawa. [02:33.40]He was one of the leaders of the study. [02:37.64]He works at the Japanese National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology. [02:46.04]Alzheimer's disease is thought to start developing [02:50.36]years before patients have any signs of memory loss. [02:56.88]Experts say an important factor in finding an effective treatment [03:02.40]will be the ability to recognize signs of the disease early. [03:09.28]"You have got to walk before you run," said Colin Masters, [03:15.12]a co-leader of the study and a professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia. [03:23.88]"You have to learn to diagnose the disease directly [03:28.36]before you can hope to see the effect of therapeutic intervention. [03:34.27]And that's where the real value in this test will come," Masters added. [03:43.00]The study involved 252 Australian and 121 Japanese patients. [03:53.00]They were all between 60 and 90 years old. [03:58.52]Scientists not directly involved in the study said it made an important step, [04:05.24]but now the findings need to be confirmed. [04:10.20]Mark Dallas is a teacher at Britain's University of Reading. [04:16.72]He said, "if (it) can be repeated in a larger number of people, [04:22.32]this test will give us an insight into changes occurring in the brain [04:28.00]that relate to Alzheimer's disease." [04:32.52]Abdul Hye works at King's College London's Institute [04:37.84]of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. [04:44.12]He said the blood test was still a long way from being able to be used in medical centers. [04:53.08]John Hardy is a professor of neuroscience at University College London. [05:00.04]He said it was a "hopeful study," one that could improve diagnostic accuracy. [05:07.72]I'm Bryan Lynn. [05:11.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM