07 dec 2023 om 11:16
Researchers have developed a special blood test that determines the ‘age’ of your organs. This allows doctors to predict the risk of certain diseases, such as heart failure and dementia. Although the study is still in its early stages, scientists are “hopeful.”
According to researchers from Stanford University in the US state of California, the blood test can help start treating conditions earlier, before people really become ill.
People whose organ ages faster than the rest of their body have a greater chance of developing a disease in that organ within fifteen years, according to the results of the study published on Thursday in the scientific journal Nature. A total of 5,676 people participated in the study.
It appears that people with accelerated organ aging – i.e. for whom the ‘age’ of the organs is estimated to be higher than the actual age of a person – have a higher risk of organ diseases. For example, the risk of heart failure for people with accelerated heart aging is 2.5 times greater than for people who do not suffer from this.
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Blood test may identify Alzheimer’s earlier
The aging of the brain and blood vessels predicts the course of Alzheimer’s disease better than current measurements, the researchers say.
Dementia can develop in the brain for decades before symptoms become apparent. “The sooner diseases like Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed, the sooner we can treat them,” the researchers write. According to doctors, this brings us closer to a cure for dementia.
The results suggest that our blood can provide clarity about what is happening in our body. In the future, researchers want to conduct a larger, similar study that will show that organ aging can predict the risk of certain organ diseases.
Although the research is still in its early stages, scientists are “hopeful.” “The blood test can complement existing methods,” says a doctor. She hopes that within five years these tests can be used to detect Alzheimer’s disease “in time.”