Novel Diagnostic Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease

Posted by Vivian creative on March 7th, 2022

Dementia, the 7th leading cause of death worldwide according to the WHO, arises from diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect nervous systems, in which Alzheimer\'s disease accounts for 60-70% of dementia cases. This neurological disorder now can be more easily diagnosed and monitored with the advancement of modern medical technologies.

Global diagnostics companies have long been dedicated to developing in vitro diagnostic testing solutions for Alzheimer\'s disease. Among all possible diagnostic strategies, biomarkers that can indicate genetic alteration, biochemical changes, or structural and functional changes have played an important role in understanding Alzheimer\'s disease, supporting pharmacological therapy development, detecting the disease progression, and monitoring the efficacy of the treatments. Most of the time, neurological disorders are diagnosed when clinical symptoms occur, while disease biomarkers can work as an indicator at an early stage of the disease. Therefore, biomarkers development is necessary for early diagnosis of Alzheimer\'s disease, which makes sure that patients is assigned proper treatment as early as possible with the best therapeutic effect.

Currently, the major biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer\'s disease are CSF markers linked to amyloid and tau, namely Aβ42/40, total Tau, and pTau, which are precise and efficient enough for clinical diagnosis. But researchers hold that other contributing factors, such as neuroinflammation, are also necessary to be considered in discovering potential therapies for Alzheimer\'s disease. They have developed and launched tests for novel biomarkers NPTX2 and sTREM2, which can detect proteins that are related to parts of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer\'s disease but haven\'t been explored and studied yet. Facing the fact that there is no cure for Alzheimer\'s disease, it\'s pointed out that early diagnostic assays could help understand the development of Alzheimer\'s disease and facilitate the arrangement of therapies as early as possible.

Though these novel biomarkers are not thoroughly explored due to the lack of evaluation assays, the discovery of NPTX2 and sTREM2 biomarkers indeed opens up pathways to the understanding of Alzheimer\'s disease as well as neuroscience diagnostic development. The sTREM2 marker is linked to neuroinflammation, which is an essential part of Alzheimer\'s disease pathophysiology, meaning sTREM2 could be used to evaluate the effect of anti-inflammatory therapeutic compounds. Furthermore, compared to the loss of neurons,  losing synapses in Alzheimer\'s disease in the same brain region is more severe and earlier than neuronal loss. Synaptic biomarkers like NPTX2 in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can be used in diagnostic cognitive tests, in which the rate of cognitive decline is monitored to identify the curative effect in a short term. Therefore, several biotech companies thrive on making high-quality assays based on these novel biomarkers available as a tool for researchers. 

Though no cure has been developed for Alzheimer\'s disease and currently new tests based on these novel biomarkers are for research use only, it\'s believed that these markers will make a difference on a large scale if a treatment focusing on decreasing neuroinflammation or promoting synaptic plasticity is developed, evaluated, and approved for clinical use one day.

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Vivian creative
Joined: March 15th, 2021
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