Simple Blood Test May Become Useful Biomarker of Alzheimer’s Progression and Treatment Response, Study Suggests

Simple Blood Test May Become Useful Biomarker of Alzheimer’s Progression and Treatment Response, Study Suggests
Blood levels of a nerve cell-derived component, known as neurofilament light chain, could be used as a biomarker of disease severity and treatment response in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a study suggests. The study, ”Association Between Longitudinal Plasma Neurofilament Light and Neurodegeneration in Patients With Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published in the journal JAMA Neurology. Monitoring of Alzheimer's disease progression is currently based on advanced imaging techniques — such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), as well as invasive analyses of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, the liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord) — to check for key disease markers. Imaging techniques are expensive, and CSF analyses are invasive because the procedure involves a hollow needle being inserted between the bones of the lower back to collect a sample of the liquid. Therefore, there is a need to develop less expensive and less invasive methods to monitor Alzheimer's progression and facilitate therapy development, researchers say. "Standard methods for indicating nerve cell damage involve measuring the patient's level of certain substances using a lumbar puncture, or examining a brain MRI. These methods are complicated, take time and are costly,” Niklas Mattsson, researcher at Lund University, physician at Skåne
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