AN Edinburgh firm is looking to create a new blood test that could pick up on Alzheimer’s disease at an earlier stage.

Scottish Brain Sciences has teamed up with global healthcare firm Roche Diagnostics to investigate the earliest indicators of neurodegenerative disease which, if detected, could help patients get treatment sooner.

Professor Craig Ritchie, founder of Scottish Brain Sciences, said the work could have “big impacts” for Alzheimer’s, which can cause memory problems, confusion and communication problems.

He said: "Early detection will be transformative in the way we assess, manage, and conceptualise clinically Alzheimer's disease.

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"It will open the door to interventions used very early in the course of disease that are better targeted than current treatments.”

Researchers will learn more about the early indicators of Alzheimer’s by using blood based bio-markers, which are biological indicators of the body's internal condition.

Dr Ashton Harper, director of medical affairs for Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland, said: "Early and accurate diagnosis of this condition has numerous advantages such as appropriate and timely management of symptoms, access to clinical trials and enabling future planning.

"Earlier diagnosis may also delay the need for residential care and reduce costs for health and social care.”

In July, the global trial of a new drug called donanemab confirmed it slowed cognitive decline of Alzheimer's patients.

The trial found that those who were in the earlier stages of the disease benefitted the most from the treatment.