A genetic blood test known as APOE e4 test in combination with functional MRI can successfully predict cognitive decline in healthy adults, according to a study conducted by researchers at Wayne State University, US.

For the study, researchers used APOE e4 allele and a functional MRI (fMRI) on 78 healthy elders.

The study results showed that APOE e4 allele test alone correctly classified 61.5% of participants who would develop cognitive decline, while the combination of APOE e4 allele and fMRI correctly classified 78.9% of the participants.

Among the participants who were predicted to develop cognitive decline, 35% of them showed significant cognitive decline 18 months post-testing.

The APOE e4 allele test is designed to identify the APOE e4 allele, a known genetic marker for Alzheimer’s disease, and fMRI that reveals how the brain is activated during mental tasks.