New blood test gives hope for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

New blood test gives hope for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease


A new blood test developed by the scientists may significantly help in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease at the initial stage, thereby giving people warning for up to 15 years before the symptoms appear. This test is founded on an immunochemical analysis, which uses an infrared sensor.

The sensor’s outer body is coated with highly specific antibodies that fish out biomarkers from the blood or the cerebrospinal fluid, extracted from the lower portion of the back called lumbar liquor of the Alzheimer’s patient.

The infrared sensor examines when the biomarkers demonstrate already pathological mutations, which are expected to occur more than 15 years earlier than any clinical symptoms appear. A serious matter of concern with Alzheimer’s disease analysis is the fact that by the time the first medical symptoms surface, huge irreparable damage to the brain has already been caused. At that particular stage, symptomatic therapy becomes the only feasible choice, researchers said.

Klaus Gerwert from Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany also said, “If we wish to have a drug at our disposal that can significantly inhibit the progress of the disease, we need blood tests that detect Alzheimer’s in its pre-dementia stages.”

In that case, the secondary structure of the supposed Amyloid beta peptides acting as a biomarker is used for the novel test. This structure is subjected to changes in patients suffering from Alzheimer, researchers noted.

The pathological formation becomes distorted, which makes way for more and more Amyloid beta peptides to accumulate and eventually form apparent deposits of plaque in the patient’s brain that are common in Alzheimer’s disease. This happens more than 15 years prior its primary medical symptoms appear, they mentioned.

Using positron emission tomography (Amyloid PET), the pathological beta-Amyloid plaques can be detected for the moment, but this procedure is relatively expensive and is followed by radiation exposure.

Along with the colleagues and researchers from German Centre for Neurogenerative Diseases (DZNE), Gerwert, an infrared sensor was developed for testing distortion of Amyloid beta peptides. The infrared sensor takes out the Amyloid beta peptide from the body fluids. After primarily working with cerebrospinal fluid, the researchers afterwards developed this method for the analysis of blood. Gerwert further said that they do not select just one possible folding structure of the peptide; rather, they identify how all existing Amyloid beta secondary arrangements are dispensed within their pathological and healthy states.

Researchers examined the samples of 141 patients. They achieved a diagnostic accuracy of 90% in cerebrospinal fluid and 84% in the blood when compared with the medical gold standard. The test demonstrated a boost in distorted biomarkers as a spectral change of Amyloid beta band below the threshold, thereby treating Alzheimer’s, researchers mentioned.

The research findings were published in the Biophotonics journal.