Blood test for risk of dementia before symptoms appear

I’d want to know, so I could plan for it.



Blood tests for Alzheimer’s detection are being developed and commercialized in several places. The one you linked to targeted toxic amyloid oligomers. This one targets tau, a protein which is abnormal in Alzheimer’s.

Like you, I would prefer advance notice.


NPR just a blip I was not paying attention to about three weeks ago…amyloid oligomers happen regardless of Alzheimer’s. You do not have to have Alzheimer’s to have a high score.

It is not a good enough test.

Avoid investing in much of this stuff. Yes some tests are quite good but a lot of tests are not worth it.

Can you have amyloid plaques and not have Alzheimer’s?

While the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain is considered as being characteristic of Alzheimer’s, some studies have shown that large amounts of amyloid plaques were present in healthy, non-demented individuals.Aug 6, 2019

Measuring the Brain’s Amyloid Buildup Less Effective in Identifying Severity, Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease Compared to Other Imaging Methods - Penn Medicine.

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Highly accurate tests can be quite non-specific. It’s a feature of single variable tests.

When is a square a rectangle? The opposite?

How many different 4 sided shapes are there?

pentagon (I stopped counting at 4!)

Dispensing with the nonsense, there are quite a few tests which are highly accurate but low specificity. One of those reveals a propensity to cancer. Unfortunately, it’s also a test that reveals other conditions, and… generally, inflamation.

The test is highly accurate, but not specific. As a result of getting a positive statistical variance in my wife’s tests, her endocrinologist went all loopy with the cancer diagnosis. She suffered under stress and worry for over a week until we got a second opinion, from a cancer doc.

In other related news, let’s leave the groundbreaking prognostications to the experts. As we’ve seen above, even they struggle to understand the full complexity of tests and data at times!


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My CAC shows moderate calcium. It also shows zero plaque. I have heart disease by definition. I have no heart disease because I have no plaque.

I have zero heart disease or risks as of now.

Calcium deposits are normal. Plaque is problematic.

My sleep doctor wanted me to go to a cardiologist. I did. I passed the stress test easily. The cardiologist saw no plaque in the CAC. He looked at the archived footage. He sees no problems. He says calcium deposits are the norm.

That’s probably true…most folk have some degree of coronary artery disease in older years these days. So many folk follow a lifestyle well recognised to promote ASCVD in addition to those few Good Custodians who do not, but who have a strong enough genetic predisposition to defeat healthy lifestyle choices.

It’s not the same as zero pathology/zero coronary artery buildup, though. That would be a zero score. Even then soft plaques/new calcium free deposits, don’t necessarily show up on a standard CAC scan.

My husband is a very rare bird who, like the flaneur in one of the above articles and at 75, has zero evidence of ASCVD in his coronary arteries…from a whole plethora of tests. CAC scan, CT angiogram, traditional angiogram with catherization, and, the Gold Standard…a “post mortem” pathology dissection. He wasn’t actually a corpse, but coronary arteries and ascending aorta were analysed as part of his bio-Bentall procedure.

Edit: another bit of informative background reading that I hope isn’t behind the customary paywall

A link I posted a while back on the testing/screening dilemma…

It is not that because the visual of the scan the calcium lines the arteries but the calcium is throughout which means it is very thin. There is no build up of any plaque or even the calcium is not built up. Just my case.

Part of how you are applying your comments on calcium might be more applicable for a lot of other people.

Yes it is considered arterial disease. No I should not care.