A CHEAP finger-prick blood test is being created to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists hope a single drop of blood will be enough to spot signs of the top cause of dementia.
The scan could cost just £10 a time and use an iPhone camera rigged up to a hand-held blood sampling gadget.
Professor Andrew Shaw, CEO of inventors Attomarker, said at the British Science Festival: “There are nine proteins that predict dementia.
“The idea is that we can measure those and look at how they evolve over time.”
He said the firm is already working on a prototype to analyse a protein called tau, which goes haywire in people with Alzheimer’s.
They are in the process of testing the screening device for long Covid, menopause and food allergies.
It uses a blob of blood from the fingertip and shines a light through the sample after adding chemicals to react with the proteins they are looking for.
Labs use the method a lot but the machines are big and expensive.
Prof Shaw hopes GPs could keep his smaller devices on their desk for quick and easy blood testing that can take just seven minutes.
Around 900,000 Brits have dementia and Alzheimer’s is the main cause, accounting for two thirds of cases.
Doctors currently rely on brain tests, scans and spinal fluid draws to diagnose people – and admit there is “no simple and reliable test”.
Prof Shaw, also a lecturer at Exeter University, added that his gizmo is “like a laboratory in your hand”.
He added: “I want the revolution.”