Biochip Blood Test Detects Alzheimer’s Risk in 3 Hours
August 2016


An inexpensive blood test that can quickly identify people at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease has been developed by UK scientists.
Randox Laboratories, a London-based biotech company, have developed a £25 ‘lab on a chip’ that can analyse genetic material in the blood and identify the APOE4 genetic mutation – which indicates a person is 12 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life – in just three hours.
Identifying at-risk members of the population quickly and cheaply means that can be candidates for early intervention treatments aimed at preventing the disease; current DNA testing is expensive and can take days for the results to come back.
The Randox APOE4 Biochip Array can conduct multiple diagnostic tests on a single blood sample, which has both cost and time-saving benefits, in addition to a rapid diagnosis for the patient.
There are three versions of the ApoE gene: E2, E3 and E4. The E4 version increases a person’s risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and it may also be associated with an earlier onset of memory loss.
Each parent passes on one ApoE gene to their child. Around 25% of the population inherit one copy of the ApoE4 gene. Inheriting two copies of the E4 variant increases a person’s disease risk by 10 times or more.
Randox’s research into the identification of this gene was conducted in conjunction with the Medical University of Vienna, and accuracy was verified by analysing 384 samples and comparing the results to that of a standard molecular diagnostic test. Both tests provided the same accurate results, however the Biochip test results were available in a significantly faster 3 hours.
In combination with information on medical and family history, medication, and lifestyle, an individual’s ApoE4 status, as obtained from the Randox Biochip test, can go a long way in advising personalised medicine for the patient.
“This type of testing is important in our quest to understand and diagnose Alzheimer’s and empower patients to understand risks, consider medication, and even make early lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Emma Harte, R&D Scientist at Randox.
“Pairing this test with medical and family history for risk of Alzheimer’s disease has the real potential to advance personalised medicine. This fast, accurate testing will allow doctors and patients to make more informed choices earlier to potentially slow the possible progress of Alzheimer’s.”


Biochip Blood Test Detects Alzheimer’s Risk in 3 Hours