ST. LOUIS — Right here in St. Louis, one company is improving the lives of many through a simple blood test.
It's helping thousands who have to face Alzheimer's every day, the devastating disease that can affect the patient and the rest of the family.
C2N Diagnostics has been in business since 2007. Its lab and office is in a 15,000-square-foot facility near Washington University School of Medicine.
It was near the end of 2020 when it introduced its latest product.
It took time for research development and now, they are in the commercialization phase.
The test is called a Precivity AD test, which is a blood test.
The CEO, Dr. Joel Braunstein, said using current methods a diagnosis can be incorrect 30-50% of the time just based on the clinical presentation.
"We use fairly sophisticated technology that allow us to look at low levels of these markers," Dr. Braunstein said.
On a scale from zero to 100, that blood work can detect if memory and cognitive issues at hand are Alzheimer's-related or due to other conditions.
"That score is rated on a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the value, the lower the likelihood that the individual has amyloid pathology in the brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease," Dr. Braunstein said.
They've learned this is a process that is much quicker. Patients can get results in just days.
"For many patients, it can take six months to a year to see what’s causing the progressive memory decline," Braunstein said.
And it gives patients a more accurate diagnosis, which improves patient care.
"There is more care planning, appropriate implementation of medications and possible participation of clinical trials," Dr. Braunstein said.
This helps many families, like the Behans.
"I was born and raised in St. Louis. Both, me and my husband and we met in St. Louis and we were married in St. Louis," Alice Behan said.
Going down memory lane, Alice remembered all the beautiful moments spent together with her 77-year-old husband Patrick.
"I fell in love with him pretty fast," Alice said with a giggle.
The duo tied the knot 53 years ago, making the pact in sickness and in health.
Alice has stood by his side through it all.
"He started to lose his memory little by little. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia," Alice shares.
The journey began four years ago to see if Patrick had Alzheimer's.
"They said one way we can do it is through a spinal tap," Alice said.
She said she resisted the idea. However, a newer and simpler answer came from C2N Diagnostics.
Patrick took the test recently and a four-year question was finally answered.
Their neurologist called Alice and said, "I have to tell you Pat does not have Alzheimer’s."
"Oh my God, this is just wonderful!" Alice recalled saying.
She did learn though, he has frontal lobe dementia.
While it's still a hard pill to swallow, Alice has more direction.
"For me to get that clarity and sense of where I am going next," Alice tells 5 On Your Side.
A new route that her and her husband can maneuver, together.
"It changes your course and changes your life whether it had gone either way. It’s just life-changing," Alice shares.
This test is intended for anyone over the age of 60 and it's aimed at those who have memory or cognitive issues.
The best advice to take a test? Be proactive if you are noticing signs.
Talk to your clinician and they'll determine if this is right for you or your loved one.