This technique would simplify the detection of this neurodegenerative disease at an early stage, because a cerebral scintigraphy remains cumbersome and expensive.
Research into better detection of Alzheimer’s disease is progressing. Following the detection of a specific biomarker in urine, an international team has developed a new test to detect signs of the most frequent neurodegenerative diseases from markers found in a blood sample.
A simpler, cheaper technique
Currently, it is certainly already possible to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. But that requires resorting to an expensive brain scan or a lumbar puncture in a specialized hospital department.
600 patients with a more or less advanced stage of the disease served as the basis for this study.
A test directed against antibodies
More specifically, the technique developed by Professor of Neuroscience Thomas Karikari and his colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh in the US makes it possible to detect a particular form of the Tau protein, called Tau, which originates in the brain and is specific to Alzheimer’s. disease.
The researchers were able to conclude that the recorded levels were consistent with those present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and with the data collected on the brain tissue of people who died of the disease. And the test was able to reliably distinguish Alzheimer’s from other neurodegenerative diseases.
A big breakthrough?
Thomas Karikari summarized the British daily Guardian the benefits of this test:
A blood test is cheaper, safer and easier to take, and it can improve clinical confidence in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and selecting participants in clinical trials and monitoring the disease.
And now ? Clinical trials will continue to confirm the reliability of this new tool. Then comes the time for validation with a larger number of patients and people at different stages of the disease. Later, this discovery of brain-derived Tau proteins could help develop treatments for the neurodegenerative disease.