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Blood-based molecular biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease

Journal article
Authors Henrik Zetterberg
S. C. Burnham
Published in Molecular Brain
Volume 12
ISSN 1756-6606
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Language en
Keywords Alzheimer's disease, Serum, Plasma, Blood, Biomarkers, Amyloid, Tau, mild cognitive impairment, neurofilament light, signaling proteins, plasma tau, identification, diagnosis, markers, classification, association, progression
Subject categories Neurosciences


A major barrier to the effective conduct of clinical trials of new drug candidates against Alzheimer's disease (AD) and to identifying patients for receiving future disease-modifying treatments is the limited capacity of the current health system to find and diagnose patients with early AD pathology. This may be related in part to the limited capacity of the current health systems to select those people likely to have AD pathology in order to confirm the diagnosis with available cerebrospinal fluid and imaging biomarkers at memory clinics. In the current narrative review, we summarize the literature on candidate blood tests for AD that could be implemented in primary care settings and used for the effective identification of individuals at increased risk of AD pathology, who could be referred for potential inclusion in clinical trials or future approved treatments following additional testing. We give an updated account of blood-based candidate biomarkers and biomarker panels for AD-related brain changes. Our analysis centres on biomarker candidates that have been replicated in more than one study and discusses the need of further studies to achieve the goal of a primary care-based screening algorithm for AD.

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