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Quest Diagnostics unveils direct-to-customer tests for Alzheimer’s 

Quest Diagnostics, a New Jersey, US-based clinical laboratory company, has started selling the first blood testing kits for detecting Alzheimer’s disease early.

HQ Team

August 1, 2023: Quest Diagnostics, a New Jersey, US-based clinical laboratory company, has started selling the first blood testing kits for detecting Alzheimer’s disease early.

The AD-Detect test assesses the potential risk of developing the disease based on a brain protein, amyloid beta, that aids the condition, according to a company statement.

A Fortune 500 company, Quest, which has collaborations with various hospitals and clinics globally, uses the plasma — the liquid component of blood — from a single blood draw to evaluate levels of amyloid beta proteins to help detect early signs.

Consumers, 18 years or older, can purchase AD-Detect from the company’s online portal without the need to visit a doctor first, giving them greater agency over the decision on when and how to assess their cognitive health.

The test offer also ensures individuals have continuous access to care, with an independent physician network providing clinical oversight of test ordering and results delivery. 

‘Accessible, convenient’

Individuals can discuss results with a licensed physician to help them understand what their results may mean and to determine an action plan for future care, including whether a follow-up with their physician or a specialist may be appropriate.

.”We are seeing much attention on emerging therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, but with new treatment options will come the need to make screening and diagnosis more widely available,” said Michael K. Racke, Medical Director of Neurology, Quest Diagnostics.

“Blood tests like AD-Detect hold incredible potential to make Alzheimer’s disease risk assessment both accessible and convenient. We’re also seeing a push from consumers who have a desire to take more control of their health, including within more advanced areas like Alzheimer’s disease risk assessment.”

More than six million Americans have Alzheimer’s, the most prevalent dementia. The number is projected to reach 14 million by 2060, according to Quest.

Diagnosis willingness

Quest’s recent report, based on a Harris Poll survey, found that adult Americans want to be evaluated for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, nearly 10 years earlier than current medical practice – even despite fear of a diagnosis.

Consumers have expressed a desire to take a more proactive approach to Alzheimer’s disease screening and a willingness to explore earlier diagnosis, particularly if it can connect them to earlier treatment options. 

A majority of 86% of consumers believed in blood tests for the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease risk, according to the report.

Individuals who purchase a test online and have the test ordered by the independent physician network will be prompted to schedule an appointment at one of 2,100 Quest Diagnostics patient service centers for a blood draw. 

Quest uses a similar technology as a blood test the company began selling for use by doctors in early 2022.

Test results are made available on a secure patient portal.

One case every 3 seconds

Someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds.

There are over 55 million people worldwide living with dementia in 2020. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050, according to Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Most of the increase will be in developing countries. Already 60% of people with dementia live in low and middle-income countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 71%. 

The fastest growth in the elderly population is taking place in China, India, and their South Asian and Western Pacific neighbours.

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