Letter From the Editor: The Real Story on Alzheimer’s Blood Tests

By | February 19th, 2024

We dug deep and talked to neurologists, biotech companies and other experts: Here are your Alzheimer's blood test questions answered.

This week Being Patient did an extensive series of reports on blood tests for Alzheimer’s, because beyond the headlines, there are a lot of unknowns. If you google “Alzheimer’s blood tests,” you find headlines claiming these tests offer a “15-year warning” or “provide an accurate diagnosis.” Unfortunately, these things just aren’t true. At least not yet.

New Alzheimer’s blood tests look for biomarkers of Alzheimer’s. Some target beta-amyloid plaque, while others detect tau proteins. These biomarkers are often present years to decades before symptoms appear.

While promising for the future, we saw that our community needed clarification on just where the technology is, and how reliable it is, not to mention what these tests could mean for your insurance coverage.

Although the diagnosis field is changing rapidly, and blood tests do offer better opportunities to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s, a full-blown diagnosis still isn’t possible by looking at the blood.

Today, most of these new tests are used in a clinical setting. At the moment, they are a good addition to doctors’ tool sets, adding another data point to diagnosis. As more tests are developed, we will have better and better data on just how useful they really are.

Wondering where to get an Alzheimer’s blood test? Here’s every test currently available, and how accurate it is — plus five things to consider before getting one:

5 Things You Need to Know About Blood Tests for Alzheimer’s

As direct-to-consumer Alzheimer’s tests become more widely available, experts warn there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Alzheimer’s Biomarker Tests Could Screw Up Your Insurance


Blood tests that screen for biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease are growing more widely available. But the results can be very tough to interpret. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Interpret Your Alzheimer’s Blood Test Results

As of February 2024, here are the blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease currently available to U.S. patients, how much they cost, how accurate they are.

Your Guide to Alzheimer’s Blood Tests: Pricing, Accuracy, and Where to Get One

Being Patient contributing editor and neurology researcher Simon Spichak did a deep dive into all the Alzheimer’s blood tests currently on the market. What he found: frustration, confusion, and a bit of absurdity.

4 Frustrating Things I Learned Reporting On Alzheimer’s Blood Tests

If you find our articles and interviews helpful, please consider becoming a supporting member of our community. Frustrated by the lack of an editorially independent source of information on brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, we decided to create Being Patient. We are a team of dedicated journalists covering the latest research on Alzheimer’s, bringing you access to the experts and elevating the patient perspective on what it’s like to live with dementia.

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