A new genetic test could soon predict the age at which a person will develop Alzheimer's disease…

This test, which was developed by an international team of scientists, analyzes DNA to assess the likelihood that a person will develop the disease and, if so, at what age.

The test targets 31 genetic markers.

Each marker has a different weight on the scale.

The highest the total score is, the higher is the probability of developing the disease.

And this test seems to yield accurate predictions.

In a study recently published in PLOS Medicine, subjects with a high score developed the disease 10 to 15 years earlier than those with a low score.

In order to make these predictions, the team analyzed the genome of more than 70,000 people, some living with Alzheimer's disease, and some without the disease.

They were searching for differences amongst people with and wihtout Alzheimer's in terms of a single nucleotide, A, T, G or C. The most frequent differences were those mostly associated with the disease.

This test may prove useful for several reasons.

It could allow for early diagnosis and prognosis, but also for better targeted clinical studies, with participants who have not yet developed symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.