A CHEAP fingerprint blood test is being developed to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists hope that a single drop of blood will be enough to detect signs of the main cause of dementia.
The scan could cost as little as £10 each and require an iPhone camera connected to a portable blood collection device.
Professor Andrew Shaw, CEO of inventor Attomarker, said at the British Science Festival: “There are nine proteins that predict dementia.
“The idea is that we can measure these and see how they evolve over time.”
He said the company is already working on a prototype to analyze a protein called tau that goes haywire in people with Alzheimer’s.
They are in the process of testing the screening device for Long Covid, menopause and food allergies.
This involves using a blob of blood from your fingertip and shining a light through the sample after adding chemicals to react with the proteins you are looking for.
Laboratories often use the method, but the machines are large and expensive.
Prof Shaw hopes GPs could keep his smaller machines on their desks for quick and easy blood tests, which can take as little as seven minutes.
Around 900,000 Brits suffer from dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the leading cause, accounting for two-thirds of cases.
Doctors currently rely on brain tests, scans and spinal fluid collection to diagnose people – admitting there is “no simple, reliable test”.
Prof Shaw, also a lecturer at the University of Exeter, added that his device was “like a laboratory in the palm of your hand”.
He added: “I want the revolution.”