Detecting Alzheimer’s disease by a relatively inexpensive blood test could greatly reduce the cost of population screening and recruitment for clinical trials. This is especially relevant given the hope that monoclonal antibodies directed at amyloid prove to modify the disease course.
A recent study published in Neurology, September 13, 2016, lead author Burnham, describes a simple blood-based signature that reflects neocortical beta-amyloid burden. It is a profile of 4 individual blood makers, specifically amyloid beta 1-42, CXCL-13, IgM-1, IL-17, PPY, and VCAM-1. Individually, they did not have significant predictive power but did in combination.
Specifically, the 12% of healthy controls that had high estimated beta-amyloid burden progressed in comparison to the 5% who had a low burden. Forty percent of subjects with mild cognitive impairment with a high burden progressed in comparison to 5% of those with MCI who did not. These ratios are similar to those utilizing Pittsburgh compound B-PET scan. They outperformed the cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-tau profile, which obviously requires an invasive lumbar puncture, as well as outperformed in measures of hippocampal volume on brain MRI. Keep in mind that there was marked overlap of confidence intervals in analyzing all of these markers.
If findings are confirmed in a large group of patients, this profile would likely come into widespread use. It appears that there are commercially available kits to measure each component.
For more information, please visit our center’s website or call us at (714) 738-0800