Blood Biomarkers – Searching for an early diagnosis

New research has shown that changes in the level of some Alzheimer ’s-related biomarkers appear to identify, with high accuracy, individuals who have no symptoms but who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, there appears to be an association with the levels of these blood biomarkers with cognitive decline and brain amyloid load.

The research has shown that there is potential to diagnose the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease ten years before symptoms appear, providing a window of opportunity to potentially change the trajectory of the disease.

The use of the ultra-sensitive Single Molecule Array (Simoa) technology platform allows for the measurement of several potential Alzheimer’s-related blood-based markers simultaneously in a single test, making this a feasible blood test to be conducted in clinical labs.

Currently, a diagnosis of the disease is performed using techniques that are either expensive (e.g. PET scan) or invasive (e.g. lumbar puncture followed by analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid). Because of this, these techniques are not suited for community-wide screening.

As the ultimate goal is to delay the onset of the disease and/or slow its progression, an early diagnosis is crucial.

The impact

Providing a low-cost and non-invasive blood test for the early diagnosis of the disease will eventually lead to earlier medical treatments, which will be more effective at this early stage.