(CNN) - A new study reveals that a simple blood test could predict if a patient develops Alzheimer’s disease up to 16 years before symptoms begin.
The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, focused on a certain protein in the blood called "neurofilament light chain", or NFL.
Researchers believe any rise in levels of that NFL protein could be an early sign of Alzheimer's, because the protein indicates any loss of nerve cells in the brain.
Researchers say the findings could help when it comes to finding effective treatment for the disease.
Doctors can study the protein to see if it's being affected by any procedure.