Rowan University, Durin Technologies tout preliminary results for early Alzheimer's blood test

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Researchers at Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan-Virtua SOM) and Durin Technologies on Wednesday announced the results of a preliminary study to evaluate a blood test that detected the presence of Alzheimer's disease-related pathology up to 10 years before symptoms arise with a nearly 97% accuracy.

Findings from the study, which involved 328 blood samples, were published online in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

The goal was to determine whether a test that monitors a small number of a patient's autoantibodies can detect Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related pathology at presymptomatic, prodromal, and mild-moderate stages of the disease. The prodromal stage represents mild cognitive impairment.

"Alzheimer's disease pathology begins a decade or more before the emergence of hallmark symptoms," noted Dr. Robert Nagele, the founder and chief scientific officer at Durin Technologies. "An accurate, noninvasive blood test for early detection and monitoring of AD could bend the curve of clinical outcomes through earlier participation in clinical trials and monitoring of AD progression of patients under treatment," added Dr. Nagele, who is also a professor of geriatrics and gerontology at Stratford, NJ-based Rowan-Virtua SOM, part of Rowan University.

Using eight autoantibody biomarkers, the test identified the presence of Alzheimer's disease pathology across the disease's progression, including among those originally determined to have no trace of the disease, the researchers said.

"Our test correctly identified nearly 97% of participants who were diagnosed as cognitively normal at the time their samples were taken, but who progressed, within an average of 48 months, to either the mild cognitive impairment stage or more advanced Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Cassandra DeMarshall, the study's lead investigator and Durin's director of research.

The samples used in the research were from participants enrolled in clinical studies at the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, and the Parkinson's Study Group. Samples from 106 healthy participants without dementia served as controls.

The use of autoantibodies as blood-based biomarkers is particularly noteworthy because it may enable the development of a platform technology for early detection of multiple diseases, the researchers noted.

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