Last week in a blog post, Bill Gates shared some exciting ways that Alzheimer’s disease might be diagnosed in the future.
One new method that we may see in use relatively soon, he said, is a blood test.
“There’s a good chance a blood test will start being used to recruit patients into Alzheimer’s drug trials within the next year or two,” Gates wrote. The possibility means that one day people may be able to be tested for the disease during a regular doctor’s appointment, he said.
Measuring the changes in someone’s voice or handwriting over time are other “seriously cool” ways that dementia could be diagnosed in the future, although research is ongoing and it’s too soon to know, Gates said.
“If you’re able to identify those changes early enough, you might even be able to stop someone from getting Alzheimer’s in the first place (although we’d also need advances in Alzheimer’s prevention to do that),” he wrote.
The third method on Gates’ list? Perhaps not surprising for the Microsoft Corp. founder, it’s a smartphone app — or, more accurately, a potential app.
Tuesday, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation began accepting applications for funding of “ideas that rely on digital tools to detect Alzheimer’s,” Gates noted. The money is being made available through the foundation’s Diagnostics Accelerator fund, in which Gates is an investor. The fund, as its name suggests, aims to support efforts to speed ways to diagnose and prevent the disease.
I know we’re all eagerly awaiting Alzheimer’s breakthroughs, be they a blood test, voice or handwriting analysis, an app or something else.