The results could lead to postponement or prevention of the disease that affects memory altogether.

"The blood test will help provide a more precise risk evaluation of a citizen's risk of developing dementia later in life. Thus, the citizens at the greatest risk of developing the illness are more easily identified than at present," said Ruth Frikke-Schmidt, assistant clinical and research professor at the University of Copenhagen in Demmark.

The low level of apolipoprotein E in the blood, as the researchers pointed out in the study, most likely reflects a low level of apolipoprotein E in the brain, and this indicates that the viscous compound, amyloid beta protein, is less effectively removed.

It is known that deposits of beta amyloid protein in the brain triggers dementia. The well-organized, structured coordination of nerve cells is intersected by, among other things, senile plaques that consist of amyloid beta proteins, the researchers said.

"Over time, this increased biological knowledge about dementia can constitute a point of departure for the development of new drugs," Ruth Frikke-Schmidt added.

The study appeared in the journal Annals of Neurology.

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