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Nobel Prize winner Koichi Tanaka says the predictive blood test for Alzheimer’s disease he and colleagues spent almost a decade developing is a double-edged sword.

Without medications to stave off the memory-robbing condition, identifying those at risk will do nothing to ease the dementia burden and may fuel anxiety. But if used to identify the best patients to enroll in drug studies, the minimally invasive exam could speed the development of therapies for the 152 million people predicted to develop the illness by 2050.

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