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Blood test predicts Alzheimer's disease

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Developing Alzheimer's may no longer be a guessing game. Researchers found a simple blood test may be key in preventing the deadly disease. FOX NEWS Senior Correspondent Rick Leventhal has the story. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. More than 5 million Americans are living with it and there's no known cure. Researchers at George Washington University Medical Center say they're trying to stop the uncertainty for the next generation with a simple blood test. Testing people who hadn't been diagnosed, analysts followed more than 500 people over a period of 5 years. Scientists, focusing on 10 lipids, or fats, circulating in the blood of a test group of individuals 70 years of age or older.

The lipids estimate the chances of either mild cognitive impairment or the beginning of the disease. The study's author says if drug developers are able to target those with a specific lipid profile found in the blood tests, it could be possible to prevent Alzheimer's onset. Researchers say they're able to predict with 90% certainty whether a senior will suffer from dementia within the next few years. The Alzheimer's Association is bracing for a 40% increase in cases.

7 million Americans will battle the disease by the year 2025. Right now, scientists do not know why the 10 lipids are lower in people who are susceptible to cognitive impairment. You can see their findings in the journal "Nature Medicine".

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