Cerebral amyloid pathology, one of the Alzheimer’s Disease pathological hallmarks, is currently identified using amyloid PET scanning of the brain or by low levels of amyloid beta in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The available diagnostic tools are however invasive (CSF) or expensive (PET), hampering widespread application for diagnosis, e.g. in a primary care setting, and large scale identification of individuals with an abnormal amyloid status in the context of recruitment for trials. A blood marker would qualify as an easy pre-screening tool, subsequently forwarding less individuals towards further invasive and/or expensive testing to obtain definite cerebral amyloid status. Using high-sensitive SIMOA technology amyloid and tau levels were measured in blood plasma of a group of cognitively unimpaired individuals with subjective cognitive decline. Plasma amyloid was a reasonably good predictor of amyloid status, and showed potential as pre-screener to reduce the number of lumbar punctures or PET scans. Inge Verberk, PhD student with Charlotte Teunissen (neurochemistry laboratory) and Wiesje van der Flier (Alzheimer center Amsterdam) recently published these results in Annals of Neurology.
Article: Plasma amyloid as pre-screener for the earliest Alzheimer's pathological changes. Verberk IMW, Slot RE, Verfaillie SCJ, Heijst H, Prins ND, van Berckel BNM, Scheltens P, Teunissen CE, Van der Flier WM. Ann Neurol. 2018 Sep 9. doi: 10.1002/ana.25334. [Epub ahead of print]. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ana.25334.