Alzheimer’s study results show correlation between blood-based biomarkers and amyloid plaques

Amyloid Plaque Alzheimer2 Social

The first results from the Bio-Hermes study have been released, showing a strong correlation between several blood-based and digital biomarkers with the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain, a diagnostic hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

The findings from the study, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, show that the amyloid beta (Aβ)42/Aβ40, phosphorylated tau (p-tau)181, and p-tau 217 blood-based biomarkers predicted brain amyloid positivity. The correlation was particularly notable for p-tau 217.

The results were consistent across the entire study population of more than 1,000 participants, 24% percent of whom were from African American, Latino, and other communities that have been underrepresented in previous studies.

The Bio-Hermes study has been conducted through the Global Alzheimer's Platform (GAP) Foundation as a collaborative effort by biopharma, digital technology, and nonprofit partners at seventeen GAP Network (GAP-Net) clinical research sites around the U.S. The aim of Bio-Hermes is to address the need for improving the diagnostic process for AD, as well as to increase accessibility to diagnosis.

At present, the current standard for diagnosis of AD relies on PET scans and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis to identify elevated levels of beta-amyloid. While both are highly accurate, their high expense renders them inaccessible to many patients; furthermore, CSF analysis requires an invasive lumbar puncture.

With the recent approval of Alzheimer's therapies such as Biogen and Leqembi which require the confirmation of the presence of amyloid pathology for treatment, there is increasing need to simplify the process of accurate diagnosis and make the process more accessible for more patients. Blood-based tests are simple, cost-effective, and accessible to more patients. Screening with biomarker-based blood tests may not only accelerate diagnosis, but also expedite enrollment of patients into clinical trials.

The study prioritized the inclusion of participants from underrepresented populations to gather data that was more representative of the entire population affected by AD. For reasons yet undetermined, African Americans are twice as likely and Latinos 1.5 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's and related dementias than white people in the U.S.

"This paper moves the field ahead in simplifying the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. The results show that blood tests are very good for identifying persons with amyloid plaques in brain,” said Dr. Richard Mohs, lead author of the paper and chief scientific officer at the GAP Foundation. “The blood tests worked for people with or without symptoms of disease and for persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. The field still struggles to enroll members of underrepresented minorities in clinical trials, but these results show that with sufficient outreach and recruitment efforts, blood tests can be used to identify appropriate study participants."

Page 1 of 8
Next Page