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Blood discovery could lead to new Alzheimer's diagnosis

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-04-05 14:25:01

Blood discovery could lead to new Alzheimer's diagnosis

Researchers at Otago University discovered that a small number of a large class of molecules called microRNA were exceptionally good at detecting Alzheimer's disease.[Photo/Xinhua]

New Zealand scientists said Tuesday they have discovered a promising new market that could lead to the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease with a simple blood test.

Researchers at Otago University discovered that a small number of a large class of molecules called microRNA - found in both the human brain and blood - were exceptionally good at detecting Alzheimer's disease, a debilitating form of dementia.

Previously, blood plasma microRNA had been shown to reflect various disease processes, and specific microRNA were linked to neurological diseases, prompting researcher Dr Joanna Williams to suggest that blood microRNA levels might reflect changes in the brain.

The specific set of blood microRNA that the Otago researchers had identified could detect Alzheimer's disease correctly 86 percent of the time.

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