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Blood Plasma Biomarkers Predict Alzheimer's Disease

'Alzheimer's-specific signature' has 90% accuracy rate

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified blood plasma biomarkers that can reliably distinguish individuals with Alzheimer's disease from non-demented controls, and this approach could potentially be used in the diagnosis of early Alzheimer's disease, according to a report published online Oct. 14 in Nature Medicine.

Sandip Ray, of Satoris Inc., Redwood City, Calif., and Markus Britschgi, of Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., and colleagues analyzed 259 archived blood plasma samples from individuals with Alzheimer's disease of varying stage and compared it to plasma from dementia-free controls.

The researchers identified 18 signaling proteins in blood plasma which were associated with Alzheimer's disease. This biomarker phenotype distinguished between plasma samples from individuals with Alzheimer's and non-dementia controls with almost 90 percent accuracy and also identified individuals with mild cognitive impairment who subsequently progressed to Alzheimer's within 2 to 6 years with 91 percent accuracy. Analysis of the 18 biomarkers suggested that dysregulation of hematopoeisis, immune responses, apoptosis and neuronal protection is present in early Alzheimer's.

"The observed dysregulation of the signaling pathways represented by the 18 signaling proteins in blood plasma may point to changes in the periphery, the central nervous system, or both, that are relatively specific to Alzheimer's disease and occur early in the disease process," the authors wrote.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with companies related to this research.

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