"This study has provided the basis to detect this biomarker in routine, non-invasive blood tests, and it is known that early intervention is invaluable to Alzheimer's patients," senior investigator Professor Illana Gozes said in a press release. "We are now planning to take these preliminary findings forward into clinical trials -- to create a pre-Alzh
Tel Aviv University and Harvard researchers have found a new biomarker for cognitive aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Diagnosing Alzheimer's is not an easy task. The process employs measurements of memory impairment, cognitive skills, functional abilities, and behavioral changes, as well as brain imaging and analyses of the cerebrospinal fluid. The idea of an AD biomarker that can easily be measured in the blood of patients has seemed like a far-fetched goal, but according to findings published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers are now one step closer to more effectively screening for AD. The team analyzed gene expression levels of the activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) in blood and plasma samples from 17 patients with AD, 15 individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and 52 cognitively normal controls. They noticed that the gene expression levels of ADNP correlated with premorbid intelligence, as well as AD pathology and its clinical stage. Moreover, the levels of ADNP expression could be used to distinguish between cognitively normal elderly, individuals with mild cognitive impairment, and AD patients.