New blood test advances Alzheimer's detection

By staff writers

March 3, 2020 -- A blood test that detects levels of phosphorylated-tau-181 (p-tau181), a biomarker of brain changes, proved to be as effective as standard spinal fluid tests and positron emission tomography (PET) scans at detecting Alzheimer's disease, according to two separate studies published online March 2 in Nature Medicine.

Currently, clinicians rely on spinal fluid tests and PET imaging to diagnose Alzheimer's and to measure patients' response to therapies. However, spinal fluid tests involve an invasive, time-consuming spinal tap, and PET imaging is expensive and requires the use of radioactive agents.

In hopes of finding a less-invasive and more cost-effective alternative, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded two studies evaluating a new Alzheimer's blood test.

The first study, led by Dr. Adam Boxer, PhD, from the University of California, San Francisco, used the blood test to analyze the plasma samples of roughly 400 individuals. The test was able to differentiate the study cohort into three different groups based on levels of p-tau181: healthy individuals, those with Alzheimer's, and those with a rare neurodegenerative disease known as frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD).

In a separate study, led by Dr. Oskar Hansson, PhD, from Lund University in Sweden, an international team of researchers applied the same blood test to individuals at high risk of Alzheimer's. The test was able to differentiate between Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases nearly as well as spinal fluid tests and PET scans. The blood test could help predict the future onset of Alzheimer's dementia in individuals with no or minimal cognitive impairment, Hansson and colleagues noted.

"We are poised to make dramatic advances in biomarker development for Alzheimer's disease, FTLD, and related neurodegenerative disorders," said Dr. Eliezer Masliah, director of the NIH's National Institute on Aging neuroscience division.

AACC: Blood tests may foretell if exercise works in Alzheimer's
Blood metabolites could one day help predict which patients with Alzheimer's disease will experience relief from cognitive symptoms through exercise therapy,...
Blood test detects Alzheimer's with great accuracy
Scientists have created a blood test that they believe can detect Alzheimer's disease with higher accuracy than a brain scan, according to a study published...
AAIC update: Where blood-based dementia tests stand in 2019
Against the shadowy backdrop of multiple failed trials in Alzheimer's disease, hope springs eternal for a reliable, noninvasive blood test for dementia,...
Evidence builds for Alzheimer's beta-amyloid blood test
Blood-based biomarker testing for Alzheimer's disease performed well in two prospective studies for assessing beta-amyloid plaque buildup in the brain....
High cholesterol offers clues in early-onset Alzheimer's disease
People with the early-onset form of Alzheimer's disease also have elevated cholesterol, which may be related to variants in the apolipoprotein B gene,...

Copyright © 2020

Last Updated np 3/3/2020 12:57:11 PM