New approach detects Alzheimer’s disease markers in the blood

Published 7 January 2011

Scientists have used a new approach to detect Alzheimer’s disease in the blood according to research published in the journal Cell (06 January 2011).

Scientists from Scripps Research Institute used synthetic compounds to 'fish' for antibodies in the blood that increase when a person has a particular disease. Three compounds used by researchers were effective in picking up Alzheimer's disease in blood samples of 12 people and in mouse models. The research now needs to be replicated and tested on a larger scale. If successful scientists hope the technique could be developed into a new way of detecting many other conditions.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'This is a refreshing new approach to diagnosing Alzheimer's disease which holds promise. Early diagnosis is very important and a simple non-invasive blood test for Alzheimer's disease would be invaluable.  However, this research is in the early stages and more investigation is needed to find out it if it can be developed in to a reliable and practical test for the future. As a million people develop dementia in the next ten years we urgently need more funding to find reliable tests for the diseases that cause dementia.'

Dr Susanne Sorensen
Head of Research
Alzheimer's Society

Research Reference
: Muralidhar Reddy et al (07 January 2011) Identification of Candidate IgG Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease via Combinatorial Library Screening. Cell 144, 132 - 142.
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