Recent studies have revealed that certain proteins in your blood can be predictors of diseases years down the road.  The blood test called SOBA (Soluble Oligomer Binding Assay) can detect toxic oligomers in blood of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Parkinson’s among others.

Researchers from the University of Washington developed this laboratory test that can potentially detect diseases years before symptoms develop.  Oligomers are a soluble protein species that are deformed and toxic to cells.  These toxic oligomers can lead to a variety of downstream effects that can begin 10 to 20 years before the start of symptoms.

The research team used blood samples from 310 participants who made some of their medical records and blood samples available for Alzheimer’s research. Participants were divided into groups that identified as having no signs of cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, or another form of dementia. It turned out that participants with mild cognitive impairment and moderate to severe Alzheimer’s had detectable levels of oligomers in their blood.

Researchers concluded that amyloid oligomers may play a role in the earliest stages in the development of Alzheimer’s disease by damaging the neurons and causing cell death which can lead to Alzheimer’s.  The SOBA test works by focusing on a unique property of toxic oligomers using samples of either cerebrospinal fluid or blood.

The results of this research suggest that SOBA can detect the probability of Alzheimer’s disease early.  Early diagnosis allows doctors to intervene before irreparable damage occurs and up to 20 years before the presentation of symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other amyloid diseases like Parkinson’s and Type 2 diabetes.