This site is intended for health professionals only

Blood test to predict dementia, the child health postcode lottery and a ‘dynamite’ treatment for the menopause

A blood test that predicts a person’s ‘biological’ age could help to predict and diagnose dementia, according to The Times, in a study widely reported on the front pages of the nationals this morning.

The gene analysis test indicates how healthily people are ageing and could be used for initial screening for a wide range of conditions – and is more accurate than current tests for biomarkers because it is based on RNA rather than DNA and less likely to be ‘fooled’ by other conditions like high blood pressure, the paper claims.

However, Dr Tara Spires-Jones, reader in cognitive and neural systems at the University of Edinburght cautioned: ‘It is worth noting that it is not yet a foolproof blood test for dementia.’

She added: ‘While an improvement over many studies, it appears from the data that people with dementia would not always be different from controls on this test.’

Elsewhere, a charity has warned of ‘shocking’ variation in children’s health across England, the BBC reports.

Their study found a big range in the proportion of young children suffering from diseases such as obesity and tooth decay – with, for example 51%

Lastly, the Mail has news of how ‘dynamite patches’ are being used to treat the symptoms of menopause.

The patches containing nitroglycerine – also commonly used to treat angina – can reduce hot flushes by up to 70%, according to new research.



Visit Pulse Reference for details on 140 symptoms, including easily searchable symptoms and categories, offering you a free platform to check symptoms and receive potential diagnoses during consultations.