RELEASE: Simple Fingerstick Test Illustrates Advances in Alzheimer's Blood Testing (2)

Key takeaways:.

RELEASE: Simple Fingerstick Test Illustrates Advances in Alzheimer's Blood Testing (2)

Key takeaways:

AMSTERDAM, July 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A simple finger prick blood test, not unlike what people with diabetes do every day, shows promise in the ability to detect diabetes Alzheimer's, according to research presented for the first time today at the Alzheimer's Association® International Conference (AAIC®) 2023, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and online.

Advances in technology and practice reported for the first time at AAIC 2023 demonstrate the simplicity, portability, and diagnostic value of blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer's, including the future potential for testing by a patient or family member In the home.

"These findings are timely and important with recent US Food and Drug Administration approvals of beta-amyloid-targeted Alzheimer's treatments, where confirmation of amyloid accumulation and biomarker monitoring are required to receive treatment," said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., chief scientific officer for the Alzheimer's Association. "Blood tests, once verified and approved, would offer a fast, non-invasive, and cost-effective option."

Blood tests are already being used in Alzheimer's drug trials for further verification of their effectiveness and for screening of potential participants, which would be a significant evolution from the more expensive and invasive procedures that are currently a common practice. In some cases, these blood tests provide similar information to "gold standard" tests such as brain imaging scans and cerebrospinal fluid analysis.

"While further standardization and validation is needed, blood tests may soon be an important part of the diagnostic work-up in daily practice to detect and monitor the treatment of Alzheimer's disease," Carrillo said.

Fingerstick Blood Sample Detects Alzheimer's Biomarkers; travel easily between countries

Hanna Huber, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and colleagues set out to simplify and increase the accessibility of blood tests by developing a blood draw. by fingerstick to measure key Alzheimer's-related biomarkers, neurofilament light (NfL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and phosphorylated tau (p-tau181 and 217).

They collected blood (both from a vein and from a finger prick) from 77 patients at the memory clinic of the ACE Alzheimer Center in Barcelona. Blood samples were transferred to dried blood spot cards and shipped overnight, without temperature control or refrigeration, to the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. There, dried blood samples were drawn from the cards and NfL, GFAP, and p-tau181 and 217 were measured. (Note: p-tau217 data is only available in 11 people). All were detectable in finger prick samples.

In vein blood spots, GFAP, NfL, p-tau217, and p-tau181 levels were strongly associated with standard blood tests. GFAP, NfL, and p-tau217 drawn from blood by fingerstick also correlated highly with standard blood collection.

"Our pilot study demonstrates the potential for remote collection and measurement of Alzheimer's biomarkers without low-temperature storage or extraordinary preparation or processing," Huber explained. "Currently, the use of blood tests for Alzheimer's disease is limited by the need to visit a clinic, administration by trained personnel, and strict time-limited and temperature-dependent storage and delivery procedures. A A method that allows blood collection at home and is simple enough to be performed independently, or by caregivers, would increase the accessibility of these tests, resulting in better early diagnosis and better follow-up of patients. patients considered 'at risk' or those receiving approved therapies.

Blood tests can improve Alzheimer's diagnosis in primary care

Sebastian Palmqvist, M.D., Ph.D., of the Clinical Memory Research Unit at Lund University, Sweden, and colleagues from the BioFINDER-Primary Care study conducted the first study to examine the use of blood biomarkers for Alzheimer's in primary care and compare them with the diagnostic accuracy of primary care physicians (MAP).

The study recruited 307 middle-aged to elderly patients at 17 primary care centers in Sweden (mean age = 76, 48% women). After an office visit, cognitive testing, and a brain CT or MRI, the PCPs recorded their diagnosis, possible biological causes, and proposed a treatment plan for each study participant.

At the same time, a blood sample was collected and analyzed for beta-amyloid and phosphorylated tau concentrations using the PrecivityAD2 test from C2N Diagnostics (United States). The levels of these two markers were combined into a score called the Amyloid Probability Score 2 (APS2). All patients then underwent a full clinical examination at a specialized memory clinic, including evaluation by a specialist blinded to the blood sample result.

MAPs correctly identified the presence of Alzheimer's-related changes or correctly diagnosed Alzheimer's in approximately 55% of cases, while blood work did so in more than 85% of cases. Other findings:

"Due to the lack of accurate diagnostic tools, it is currently very difficult for primary care physicians to identify Alzheimer's disease, even among patients with cognitive impairment," Palmqvist said. "Too often, this leads to diagnostic uncertainty and inappropriate treatment. Blood tests for Alzheimer's disease have great potential to improve diagnostic accuracy and appropriate treatment of people with Alzheimer's disease. These tests can become even more important in the near future, as new drugs that slow the disease in its early stages become more widely available."

About the Alzheimer's Association® International Conference (AAIC®)

The Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world's largest gathering of researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer's and other dementias. As part of the Alzheimer's Association's research program, the AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital collegiate research community. AAIC 2023 Home Page: Hall of AAIC 2023 Press Room: AAIC 2023 Hashtag:

About the Alzheimer's Association®

The Alzheimer's Association is a global voluntary health organization dedicated to the care, support, and research of Alzheimer's disease. Our mission is to lead the way in ending Alzheimer's and all other dementias by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementias®. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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