Blood test for Alzheimer's disease in early stages


Scientists from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) have found a link between the chemical dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and a person’s cognitive and mental status.

This research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, has implications for the millions of sufferers worldwide.

  • Download full text of the article Rammouz, G. (2011) A Lead Study on Oxidative Stress-Mediated Dehydroepiandrosterone Formation in Serum: The Biochemical Basis for a Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 24 (2011) 5–16

The researchers based the Alzheimer’s blood test on the production of a brain hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). This hormone is present at high levels in the brain where it has a wide range of biological effects.

The researchers were able to promote the production of DHEA, using a chemical process called oxidation, in blood taken from non-Alzheimer’s patients. However, oxidation of blood from Alzheimer’s patients did not result in an increase of DHEA. The research shows a clear correlation between the lack of ability to produce DHEA through oxidation in the blood and the degree of cognitive impairment found in Alzheimer’s disease.