Dementia breakthrough as new NHS blood test could diagnose illness within seconds

Doctor dementia

A new test could help detect dementia

Sarra Gray

By Sarra Gray

Published: 09/11/2023

- 15:15

Updated: 09/11/2023

- 15:17

A blood test that could detect dementia is set to be trialled

Trials are to start within the NHS for a new blood test that could quickly diagnose dementia.

This comes as part of a £5million project to detect the illness more reliably.

At the moment, it can take years to diagnose dementia with lengthy rounds of tests needed.

The new blood test could find the illness and let Britons know within seconds. It is hoped this will be available within years.

Blood test

A blood test could detect the illness within seconds


This aims to discover if someone has the condition using just one drop of blood.

It comes from researchers backed by Alzheimer's Research UK and the Alzheimer's Society.

More tests are needed to make sure the test gives reliable results.

Trials will be run in the NHS with the hopes of creating a test that gives accurate results to be available within five years.

There are currently a number of tests in the research stage.

This includes ones that look for specific proteins that occur in the body before dementia symptoms.

Director of research and influencing at the Alzheimer’s Society Fiona Carragher said people can wait years for a diagnosis currently.

“Nearly four in 10 people in the UK who have dementia have not received a diagnosis," she said.

Dementia patient

Currently, dementia can take years to diagnose


“We also know that those who do have a diagnosis have often waited many months, sometimes years, to receive it.

"This means thousands of families are stuck in limbo, trying to manage symptoms and plan for the future without access to the vital care and support that a diagnosis can bring.

“New drugs targeting early-stage Alzheimer’s disease are just around the corner, but without a diagnosis, people simply won’t be able to access them if they are approved.”

This comes as a new pill that slashes the risk of breast cancer is offered to 300,000 women.

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