Spanish researchers have discovered that the plasma biomarkers p-tau231 and p-tau217 are optimal for showing the first signs of amyloid accumulation in the brain. The team, led by Marc Suárez-Calvet, a researcher at the Pasqual Maragall Foundation research center, Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), and Professor Kaj Blennow, from the University of Gothenburg, has shown that the plasma biomarker p-tau231 it is especially well-suited for capturing early brain changes related to amyloid protein, before amyloid plaque becomes apparent.
The results of this analysis have been published in the scientific journal “Nature Medicine”, and indicate that p-tau231 is a promising blood biomarker to detect cognitively healthy people with a high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This finding will help drive clinical trials on the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease.
The analysis of biomarkers in blood is an inexpensive and non-invasive procedure with great potential to help the diagnostic process of Alzheimer’s pathology and, therefore, the objective of the study has been to carry out an exhaustive comparison between different biomarkers, since their choice could differ depending on the type of test you want to perform.
Researchers have developed the new blood biomarker p-tau231 and have compared it with five other blood biomarkers (p-tau181, p-tau217, Ab42/40, GFAP and NfL), previously studied in the symptomatic phase of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s. This is the first study to investigate all of these biomarkers in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease. The results show that p-tau231 and p-tau217 are the best biomarkers in blood to detect the first signs of amyloid accumulation in the brain. In addition, the researchers have shown that higher levels of p-tau231 in the blood predict greater amyloid accumulation and cognitive loss at 3-year follow-up.
This is the first study to investigate all of these biomarkers in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the research team, the use of blood biomarkers could also facilitate prevention clinical trials. «Biomarkers are a very useful tool that could accelerate the development of new treatments aimed at Alzheimer’s disease» comments Marc Suárez-Calvet, who is also a researcher at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), and a neurologist at Hospital del Mar. «Thanks to them, the recruitment time for participants in clinical trials could be reduced on the early stage of this disease, and would increase the level of participation of more diverse populations, “he adds.
To carry out this direct comparison between the main biomarkers in plasma, this examined their ability to detect the first brain changes related to Alzheimer’s in the 397 members of the Alpha+ cohort, part of the Alpha Study, which is supported by the Fundación ‘The Caixa’.
The team has shown that all plasma biomarkers are altered in the preclinical phase of Alzheimer’s, but they have found notable differences between them.
The study indicates that the blood biomarkers p-tau231 and p-tau217 showed the strongest association with amyloid retention in early-accumulating regions of the brain, and were associated with longitudinal increases in amyloid uptake in healthy individuals. overt amyloid at the start of the study.
These data indicate that p-tau231 and p-tau217 in plasma better capture the first brain changes related to the presence of amyloideven before there is a clear deposit of amyloid protein in the form of plaques.
The results of this research make p-tau231 a very promising blood biomarker for early detection of those middle-aged people who present the first brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s and for carrying out clinical trials aimed at this early phase of the disease.
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