Blood biomarkers can reveal Alzheimer disease progression, study finds

Published on 1 July, 2024 by Scottish Brain Sciences

Blood tests for a protein linked with Alzheimer’s Disease can identify those patients whose disease is progressing, a study has shown.

The research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests that tests for the protein – named pTau 181 – could be useful to include in the design of clinical trials as a way of evaluating treatments that aim to slow or stop progression.

Professor John Harrison, of Scottish Brain Sciences, and one of the study authors, says that blood biomarkers are a possible alternative to current methods of diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease, such as amyloid PET or cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) analyses.

“Relatively little is known of the natural history of patients identified by different blood biomarkers, “says Professor Harrison.

“To address this, we identified 72 individuals with clinical Alzheimer’s Disease, with elevated plasma phosphorylated tau (pTau)181 from a past phase 2a trial.

“The results showed that those with high levels showed both greater clinical progression and better response to treatment.”

The authors conclude that elevated plasma pTau181 identifies participants more likely to have progressive AD and is therefore a suitable method for enrichment in AD clinical trials.

You can read the study here:

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