Quest publishes Alzheimer’s report, unveils blood test

2019 07 15 19 08 6013 Amyloid Plaque Alzheimer 400

Quest Diagnostics has published a research report on the future of Alzheimer's disease diagnostics and treatment. Additionally, Quest has released a new blood test for assessment of a patient's risk for developing the disease.

The report, called "The Coming Alzheimer's Disease Healthcare Revolution: U.S. Physician and Adult Perspectives on the Future of Diagnostics and Treatment," found that 66% of physicians believe that "we are on the precipice of groundbreaking new treatment options" for Alzheimer's disease, according to Quest.

The publication was based on a survey conducted by the Harris Poll in March of 501 primary care providers and 2,052 Americans ages 18 years and older.

Other report findings include the following:

  • 77% of physicians believe that new therapies will transform Alzheimer's disease into a chronic, manageable disease.
  • 84% of physicians indicate that testing for early risk of the disease will lead to earlier and improved disease management.
  • 50% of physicians do not think there will ever be a cure for Alzheimer's disease.
  • 90% of U.S. adults say they are hopeful that new therapies will cure Alzheimer's disease.
  • 86% believe blood tests for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease risk will increasingly become part of preventative care.
  • 85% of physicians say the value of a blood test for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease will depend on how widely it is reimbursed.
  • 94% of physicians say that blood tests would be more cost effective for the healthcare system compared to more invasive methods of detection, such as lumbar puncture and imaging studies.
  • U.S. adults want to be evaluated for dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, beginning at about age 57, while physicians say they begin evaluating patients for Alzheimer's disease at about age 66.
  • 86% of adults have some fear about receiving an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis.
  • 83% of adults would agree to take a blood test for early detection of Alzheimer's disease risk if their results might help researchers develop better treatments for the disease.
  • 83% of adults agree they want more education about when they should be proactively evaluated for signs of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
  • 84% of physicians say that testing for early risk of Alzheimer's disease will lead to earlier and improved disease management.
  • 92% of physicians indicate that blood tests for Alzheimer's disease will lead to a surge in diagnoses, with 60% saying that the current healthcare system/workforce wouldn't be able to handle this surge.
  • 95% of physicians note that the value of a blood test depends on the quality of education around it.
  • 87% of physicians believe that blood tests for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease risk will increasingly become the standard of care.
  • 96% of physicians say that blood tests will help identify patients who may be appropriate for clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease treatments.
  • 85% of physicians say that blood tests will improve the quality and speed of clinical trials.

In a related development, Quest has also launched AD-Detect Amyloid Beta 42/40 Ratio, a new blood test aimed at assessing the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Based on a cerebrospinal fluid test for aiding Alzheimer's disease assessment that was developed by Quest in 2017, the assay evaluates two amyloid beta peptides -- Aβ42 and Aβ40 -- and is designed to monitor changes over time to assess the potential risk of Alzheimer's disease progression, according to the firm.

In addition to providing insights into the risk of Alzheimer's disease, AD-Detect's blood-based biomarker testing may also help identify patients who are candidates for early antibody treatment, Quest said.

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