UL team develops test for early Alzheimer’s

An early-screening device being developed by a team at the University of Limerick will improve the lives of people stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists.

The nanoscope, a powerful microscope capable of studying the smallest organisms, will be able to identify the onset of Alzheimer’s.

There is currently no early test to screen for the disease and the World Alzheimer Report 2011 said the lack of early detection was a significant barrier to improving the lives of people with Alzheimer’s, their families, and carers.

More than 44,000 people in Ireland are affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The EU has given €5.4m to assist the development of the nanoscope and UL has linked up with major hi-tech companies to market the product.

Dr Syed Tofail, the lead scientist on the project, said: “Early detection of Alzheimer’s is critical in developing effective treatments for the disease and there is currently no test available. Our technique [using the new powerful microscope/nanoscope] will be able to detect Alzheimer’s in the early stage with much more detail.”


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