Dr Lesley Cheng
Is early detection of Alzheimer’s disease imminent?

Alzheimer’s and dementia are the second leading cause of death among Australians. Alzheimer’s affects about one in ten people around the age of 65 and rises dramatically to one in three for those in their 80s.

La Trobe University researchers have identified abnormalities in the blood linked to the degenerative condition, which affects more than 350,000 Australians.

Molecular biologist Lesley Cheng said detecting abnormalities with a simple blood test could provide doctors with the definitive diagnostic tool they currently lack. Early diagnosis would mean patients could receive treatment earlier, which could boost the chances of stalling the symptoms.

Dr Lesley Cheng is a Postdoctoral researcher at La Trobe University. She was awarded a Bachelor of Medical Science (La Trobe University) with Honours (Monash University) and a PhD (Monash University) with a PhD Scholarship from Neurosciences Victoria.

Her postdoctoral research focuses on developing a diagnostic test for the detection of early onset Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. She specialises in using Next-Generation technologies to decode genetic material found circulating in a hidden pool within blood which she uses to discover biological indicators of diseases.

Lesley is the lead researcher on a patent detailing the development of a blood test for Alzheimer’s disease. Her research and expertise has demonstrated high impact and is cited within the top 1-2% of cited articles in its field. She has also presented on the TEDxMelbourne stage to create awareness on Dementia and biomedical discoveries.