South Florida Sun Sentinel
Florida doctors are using a new test to determine someone’s future risk for Alzheimer’s disease from a few drops of spit.
At a time when the disease’s prevalence is rising, the saliva test called genoSCORE analyzes more than 114,000 different genes to provide a score of 0 to 1 for your risk of getting Alzheimer’s. A score of .5, for example, means you have a 50% of developing Alzheimer’s at some point in your life.
Dr. Jeffrey Gelblum of First Choice Neurology, which has 41 locations in six Florida counties including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, said his medical practice has partnered with Cytox, the UK developer, to start using the tests.
Gelblum, whose office is in Aventura, said he already has prescribed the test to four patients in their 30s and 40s with a parent who has Alzheimer’s disease but who do not have symptoms yet.
“Your risk is based on a continuum,” Gelblum said. “If you get a zero, you have no chance. Anything over .5, there are multiple clinical trials I could place you in that give pre-symptomatic patients the ability to access promising new drug therapies.”
He adds that lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, also have significant positive results for those testing for high risk of Alzheimer’s.
For some, the drawback of the saliva test may be the price: The test kits available to anyone over 18 cost $599 and are not currently covered by insurance. They can be done at home, but to get a test kit requires a physician’s prescription.
Research shows that people who have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease than those who do not have a first-degree relative with it, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and by 2050, this number is projected to more than double … READ MORE.