Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood test for Alzheimer's gaining ground

Date:
August 9, 2012
Source:
Emory University
Summary:
The possibility of an inexpensive, convenient test for Alzheimer's disease has been on the horizon for several years, but previous research leads have been hard to duplicate. Now in a new study, scientists have taken a step toward developing a blood test for Alzheimer's, finding a group of markers that hold up in statistical analyses in three independent groups of patients.

The possibility of an inexpensive, convenient test for Alzheimer's disease has been on the horizon for several years, but previous research leads have been hard to duplicate.

In a study to be published in the August 28 issue of the journal Neurology, scientists have taken a step toward developing a blood test for Alzheimer's, finding a group of markers that hold up in statistical analyses in three independent groups of patients.

"Reliability and failure to replicate initial results have been the biggest challenge in this field," says lead author William Hu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology at Emory University School of Medicine. "We demonstrate here that it is possible to show consistent findings."

Hu and his collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University, St. Louis, measured the levels of 190 proteins in the blood of 600 study participants at those institutions. Study participants included healthy volunteers and those who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI, often considered a harbinger for Alzheimer's disease, causes a slight but measurable decline in cognitive abilities.

A subset of the 190 protein levels (17) were significantly different in people with MCI or Alzheimer's. When those markers were checked against data from 566 people participating in the multicenter Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, only four markers remained: apolipoprotein E, B-type natriuretic peptide, C-reactive protein and pancreatic polypeptide.

Changes in levels of these four proteins in blood also correlated with measurements from the same patients of the levels of proteins [beta-amyloid] in cerebrospinal fluid that previously have been connected with Alzheimer's. The analysis grouped together people with MCI, who are at high risk of developing Alzheimer's, and full Alzheimer's.

"We were looking for a sensitive signal," says Hu. "MCI has been hypothesized to be an early phase of AD, and sensitive markers that capture the physiological changes in both MCI and AD would be most helpful clinically."

"The specificity of this panel still needs to be determined, since only a small number of patients with non-AD dementias were included," Hu says. "In addition, the differing proportions of patients with MCI in each group make it more difficult to identify MCI- or AD-specific changes."

Neurologists currently diagnose Alzheimer's disease based mainly on clinical symptoms. Additional information can come from PET brain imaging, which tends to be expensive, or analysis of a spinal tap, which can be painful.

"Though a blood test to identify underlying Alzheimer's disease is not quite ready for prime time given today's technology, we now have identified ways to make sure that a test will be reliable," says Hu. "In the meantime, the combination of a clinical exam and cerebrospinal fluid analysis remains the best tool for diagnosis in someone with mild memory or cognitive troubles."

Hu's research began while he was a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Collaborators included David Holtzman, MD, from Washington University at St Louis, Leslie Shaw, PhD and John Trojanowski, MD, PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and Holly Soares, PhD from Bristol Myers Squibb.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. W. T. Hu, D. M. Holtzman, A. M. Fagan, L. M. Shaw, R. Perrin, S. E. Arnold, M. Grossman, C. Xiong, R. Craig-Schapiro, C. M. Clark, E. Pickering, M. Kuhn, Y. Chen, V. M. Van Deerlin, L. McCluskey, L. Elman, J. Karlawish, A. Chen-Plotkin, H. I. Hurtig, A. Siderowf, F. Swenson, V. M.- Y. Lee, J. C. Morris, J. Q. Trojanowski, H. Soares. Plasma multianalyte profiling in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease. Neurology, 2012; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e318266fa70

Cite This Page:

Emory University. "Blood test for Alzheimer's gaining ground." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809190758.htm>.
Emory University. (2012, August 9). Blood test for Alzheimer's gaining ground. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809190758.htm
Emory University. "Blood test for Alzheimer's gaining ground." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809190758.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins