Two blood biomarkers pinpoint early signs of Alzheimer’s disease

IMIM researchers lead a study that reveals two blood biomarkers, p-tau231 and p-tau217, as indicators of early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

The analysis of biomarkers in blood is a less invasive process and could facilitate the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Symbolic photo of a brain by Pawel Czerwinski for Unsplash.

The Hospital del Mar Institute of Medical Research (IMIM) and the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC) have led a research study demonstrating the efficacy of p-tau231 and p-tau217 as blood biomarkers to detect early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Blood sampling to determine the stage of Alzheimer’s disease is not only a minimally invasive method, but also allows lower diagnostic costs. That is why the research team has studied previously known blood biomarkers of the somatic phase of the disease. After analyzing samples from 397 middle-aged patients with preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, the results are promising.

Both p-tau231 and p-tau217 indicate brain changes in terms of accumulation of the amyloid protein, the precursor of Alzheimer’s, in patients without cognitive symptoms. Specifically, it is the p-tau231 values that indicate a greater accumulation of the protein, which also predicts greater cognitive loss three years into the future.

“Biomarkers are a very useful tool that could accelerate the development of new targeted treatments for Alzheimer’s disease”
Marc Suárez-Calvet, BBRC, IMIM and Hospital del Mar

In addition to contributing to the diagnosis and development of new therapies in the early phase against the disease, these biomarkers could facilitate the recruitment of patients for clinical trials in early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

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