Published on: June 10, 2016
by Kim Mulford for Courier-Post:
A research team led by Dr. Robert Nagele from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine and Durin Technologies, Inc., announced it has developed a blood test that can detect an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease with 100 percent accuracy.
The blood test uses the body’s immune response to determine whether a patient with mild cognitive impairment has Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers ran a “proof of concept” study involving 236 subjects.
Cassandra DeMarshall, the study’s lead author, said about 60 percent of all patients with mild cognitive impairment have Alzheimer’s disease. The remaining 40 percent have memory problems due to other factors such as the side effects of drugs, depression, or vascular problems.
“To provide proper care, physicians need to know which cases of (mild cognitive impairment) are due to early Alzheimer’s and which are not,” said DeMarshall, in a statement released by the university, where she is a doctoral candidate in its Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. “These findings could eventually lead to the development of a simple, inexpensive and relatively noninvasive way to diagnose this devastating disease in its earliest stages.”
The research team believes it is the first blood test using biomarkers produced by the body’s immune system to detect Alzheimer’s early, said Nagele, “when treatments are more likely to be beneficial — that is, before too much brain devastation has occurred.”
Nagele is the study’s corresponding author and the director of the Biomarker Discovery Center at Rowan’s New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging. He is also the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Durin Technologies, Inc. The research was partly supported by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
The results were published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. Another larger study on more patients will be needed, the researchers said.
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