Advance care planning

Routine blood test could be the answer to an earlier dementia diagnosis

22 July 2022

A routine blood test in general practice could be the answer to an earlier dementia diagnosis, according to researchers involved in The Markers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders Study (The MiND Study).

The MiND Study is demonstrating how well a blood test for neurofilament light (NfL) works in a large number of people with diverse symptoms, and in broad settings such as primary care.

High levels of Neurofilament light (NfL), a biomarker of nerve cell injury, have been found to distinguish dementia from psychiatric illness and non-dementia, with high-accuracy.

The study’s Chief Investigator, Dr Dhamidhu Eratne, said: “Our ultimate aim is clinical translation: to lead to a simple, routinely available blood test for GPs and other specialists, to help reduce misdiagnosis and delay to accurate diagnosis and treatment, and improve outcomes for patients, their families, and healthcare systems”.

The study has recruited more than 450 participants from across general practices, memory clinics, and medical specialist (neurology, geriatrics, psychiatry) consulting room across.

It continues to welcome referrals from GPs for patients aged 40 to 80, with recent (within five years) cognitive, psychiatric, and/or neurological symptoms.

Eligibility criteria is available online. All that’s needed is a two-minute online referral form.

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