A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that validated biomarkers can show a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Using a model that combines the levels of two specific proteins in the blood of people with mild memory impairment, the researchers can predict the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers also developed an app that doctors can use to give patients a risk assessment.
Many people with Alzheimer’s disease currently seek care when they have developed just a mild memory disorder, that is, many years prior to the dementia stage of the disease. It is often difficult to make the correct diagnosis for people with mild memory impairment, as many diseases other than Alzheimer’s can be the cause.
In this study, we developed a model based on the results of a simple blood test that can predict with a high degree of validity who will develop Alzheimer’s disease within four years.
Oskar Hansson, professor of neurology at Lund University and advisor at the Clinical Memory Department at Skåne University Hospital.
Among the many biomarkers that researchers have examined over the years, the current study shows that a model that combines the concentration and levels of the two proteins “phosphorylated tau” and “neurofilamet light” in the blood produced the The most reliable result provides a prognosis comparable to today’s CSF analyzes (Cerebral Spinal Fluid). The model also offers a more reliable answer than the current baseline model, which includes age, gender, education, and basic memory tests.
In addition to this initial assessment, the methods currently being offered for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease are costly and time consuming methods using PET cameras and CSF analysis that are only available in certain specialized healthcare facilities.
Our goal over the past few years has been to find simple methods that can be used in primary care to make an early diagnosis and start treatment to relieve symptoms at an earlier stage. This requires further study, but we have come a big step closer to our goal.
The researchers also developed an online tool – an app – that combines basic data (age, gender, education, and basic cognition tests) with results from the individual’s blood biomarkers. Taken together, this provides information about an individual patient’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease within two or four years.
The app is currently only intended for research purposes and needs to be validated in further studies before it can be used in healthcare. The app is available at: https://brainapps.shinyapps.io/plasmaatnapp/
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A total of 573 people with mild cognitive impairments and an average age of 71 years took part in the study. The participants, who represented a sample of people, came from the two large multicenter studies: the Swedish B.IoFinder study and ADNI, the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.
T.The study was led by Oskar Hansson and Niklas Mattsson-Carlgren from Lund University and is a collaboration with Henrik Zetterberg and Kaj Blennow at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, the Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory in Mölndal and the American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.
Publication in Nature Aging
Individual prognosis of cognitive decline and dementia with mild cognitive impairment based on plasma biomarker combinations
Oskar Hansson, Professor of Neurology at the Clinical Memory Research Unit at Lund University, Sweden
Tel .: +46 72 226 7745