Analysis begins on IONA blood samples for markers of Alzheimer’s Disease

Researchers working in the Scottish Brain Sciences (SBS) Biomarker Laboratory have this month begun to analyse blood samples for markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

The SBS laboratory at the Eden Campus of the University of St Andrews is the only lab in the UK and one of five worldwide participating in the study.

The results will show how effective and accurate the blood tests may be, compared to other diagnostic tools such as brain scans and lumbar punctures.

This partnership with Roche Diagnostics marks another important step towards developing a blood test that can detect the build-up of the amyloid protein in the brain – an early signal of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Blood samples used in the study have been collected through SBS’s flagship research project, the IONA Longitudinal Cohort study, which is tracking the long-term brain health of people aged over 50 and living in Scotland.

SBS believes the new technology could offer a game changing approach to diagnostic testing for Alzheimer’s disease, by identifying the proteins that are known to be linked to the early stages of disease.

Dr Alison Green, Head of the Biomarker Laboratory at SBS, says: “This is an important step towards improving diagnostic testing for people at risk of brain disease, and may help to identify those participants who may benefit most from new and emerging treatments. This work would not be possible without our IONA research participants, and we are hugely grateful for their generous support.”

Data from this research will be published early next year.

Watch our video about the SBS Laboratory below.

Professor Craig Ritchie, CEO of SBS and Honorary Professor of Brain Health and Neurodegenerative Medicine at University of St Andrews, said:

“The analysis of IONA blood samples for key markers of neurodegenerative disease is a huge milestone for SBS and our flagship research programme.

“Our research is now yielding new information on brain health that will be critical in driving forward precision medicine, biomarker discovery, and diagnostic testing in Alzheimer’s disease. I couldn’t be prouder of the SBS team, and we are all especially and always so grateful to all our IONA Research Participants for their partnership with SBS in helping to cure Alzheimer’s disease”.

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