NIH Studies Alzheimer’s Biomarkers

December 7, 2010

The National Institutes of Health’s Biomarkers Consortium has announced the results of a proteomics study to identify plasma-based biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.

The National Institutes of Health’s Biomarkers Consortium has announced the results of a proteomics study to identify plasma-based biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.

The study was performed using plasma samples from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a $60 million project supported by NIH along with pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations. Results are now being shared with scientists worldwide for further analysis, the consortium said.

ADNI is meant to be the first part of a multiphase project to utilize ADNI samples to “qualify multiplex panels in both plasma and cerebrospinal fluid to diagnose patients with Alzheimer’s disease and monitor disease progression.”

In addition to advancing disease diagnoses, the biomarkers would also help in the development of treatment products. “Such immediate dissemination of detailed data should accelerate by several years the meaningful application of proteomics to developing the novel drugs that are desperately needed for this progressive disease,” said William Z. Potter, MD, PhD, recently retired vice president of translational neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories.

One of the largest-scale neuroimaging projects ever undertaken, the ADNI project used longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) for brain imaging as well as blood, urine, and spinal fluid biomarker studies. The study involved more than 800 individuals, half of whom had mild cognitive impairment, a high-risk condition for developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

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