The test detects amyloid protein levels in the blood, which can appear long before Alzheimer's symptoms start.
On July 31, Quest Diagnostics announced the availability of the AD-Detect Test to consumers who want to know if they may develop Alzheimer's disease in the future. The test uses plasma samples to measure A-beta 42 and A-beta 40 biomarkers and determines the A-beta 42/40 ratio. This ratio may help identify early whether a person is at higher risk of the disease.
Anyone 18 years or older at risk for Alzheimer's or experiencing cognitive symptoms can order the test through Quest's website. After purchasing the test for $399 plus a $13 physician service fee, a telemedicine physician will review the purchase to determine if it's medically necessary. If approved, a person must make an appointment for a blood draw at a Quest Diagnostics patient service center.
The results are sent in a report, with the option to talk with an independent healthcare provider at no extra cost.
The test uses the same technology as the physician-ordered Quest clinical AD-Detect Amyloid Beta 42/40 Ratio test launched in 2022. However, the FDA has not reviewed AD-Detect because the agency usually doesn't review tests prescribed by a healthcare professional.
According to Reuters, one caveat of the test is that if a person is positive, they still may not be able to access further testing because they are not having symptoms. This may also curtail the ability to obtain newly approved drugs (Leqembi) or medicines under FDA review (donanemab) that may remove amyloid plaques.
Still, an individual who tests positive can discuss with their healthcare provider other potential interventions that might help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's. These may include lifestyle changes, nutritional strategies, or increasing physical activity.
- Reuters. Quest Diagnostics launches Alzheimer's blood test for consumers.
- Quest Diagnostics. AD-Detect Test for Alzheimer's Disease.