Apparently, the new “Alzheimer’s blood test” that Mark Mapstone and colleagues have discussed in Nature is not necessarily the game changer early news reports have made it out to be.
The researchers looked only at 525 people, the people in the study cohort were all 70 or older, and the test detected traces of chemicals associated with Alzheimer’s just three years before the people tested developed symptoms of the disease.
The test caught only about 90 percent of the people who developed symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and it falsely indicated that 10 percent of the people who stayed healthy would develop Alzheimer’s.
So, the test is probably not coming to a private long-term care insurance (LTCI) underwriting lab near you any time soon.
But, what if the researchers do figure out how to develop a version of the test that is to Alzheimer’s what a dollar-store pregnancy test now is to pregnancy, and people of all ages can use the test?
If LTCI carriers could use the results from the test, maybe that would make writing profitable coverage for “houses that aren’t already on fire” much easier.