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Scientists diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with a blood test

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Figure 1: A novel peripheral blood extracellular vesicle-associated marker. Author: NMDAR2A

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by cognitive decline, memory loss, and in severe cases, language impairment and, ultimately, loss of the ability to live independently. According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 10 million people with AD in China, which will exceed 30 million by 2050, making it the country with the largest number of AD patients in the world. However, at present, the awareness and attention of AD among Chinese people is low, with generally low diagnosis rates (especially early diagnosis) and low treatment rates.

Professor Zhang Jing’s team from the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine (FAHZU) collaborated with researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine on the latest research findings based on plasma extracellular vesicles (EVs) in early diagnosis of AD markers, “Extracellular blood vesicles carrying proteins related to synaptic function and the brain as potential biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease.” The study was published in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

This study developed a stable and rapid assay method for the quantification of CNS-derived EVs in plasma using nanoflow cytometry technology, and identified a novel marker NMDAR2A associated with peripheral blood CNS-derived EVs to evaluate its diagnostic value. for AD. . This technology requires only a small amount of blood from the patient and checks for changes in several markers in the blood to help diagnose AD.

Scientists diagnose Alzheimer's disease with a blood test

Figure 2: An integrated model for the analysis of EV-related markers for the diagnosis of AD. Author: Zhejiang University

Specifically, the study used innovative nanoflow detection technology to develop a stable and rapid assay method and discovered a new type of marker that could be used to aid in the diagnosis of AD—peripheral nerve-associated NMDAR2A marker (Figure 1).

This method requires the quantification of CNS-derived L1CAM- and NMDAR2A-positive EVs contained in plasma and the simultaneous determination of EV-associated AD markers Aβ40, Aβ42, pTau231, and pTau396. In a large cohort study, this study showed that neurological EVs and Aβ-associated EVs, pTau, were significantly reduced in the peripheral blood of AD patients compared with healthy subjects. (Figure 2)

Compared to traditional screening methods, the study published by Professor Zhang Jing’s team only requires taking a small amount of blood from subjects and checking for changes in several markers in blood to aid in the diagnosis of AD, which can replace traditional CSF biomarkers. Therefore, it can solve the problems of low acceptance of CSF collection and high cost of relevant imaging studies in clinical work, realize rapid and accurate diagnosis of AD, and further it can be used for early screening of AD in the elderly. The new method of diagnosis and treatment is of great importance in clinical practice and for public health, and also provides new research ideas and directions for early development diagnosis of our era.


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Additional information:
Chen Tian et al. Extracellular blood vesicles carrying proteins of synaptic function and associated with the brain as potential biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (2022). DOI: 10.1002/alz.12723

Courtesy of Zhejiang University

Citation: Scientists Diagnose Alzheimer’s With Blood Test (2022, September 6) Retrieved September 6, 2022, from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-09-scientists-alzheimer-disease-blood.html

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