Two Alzheimer's tests hold hope for early diagnosis and risk assessment

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Alzheimer's researchers are getting closer to marketing tests that can assist in early diagnosis of this deadly form of dementia and assess risk factors for memory loss.

An advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administrations is currently reviewing results of one study on a new brain scan that can detect the type of plaques associated with patients with Alzheimer's. The FDA could allow the test to the open market based on the findings.

A second study considered whether beta amyloid levels in blood tests could indicate the risk of memory troubles. Researchers in this study determined the blood test could work, but also said it would not be ready for screening use until more work has been completed.

Results of both studies will be published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association.