In a few years bloodbased testing for dementia will be standard.
In a few years blood-based neurochemical testing for dementia will be standard clinical practice and make it unnecessary to examine cerebrospinal fluid to diagnose Alzheimer's disease - Professor Jens Wiltfang of the University of Duisburg-Essen is convinced of it.
Even at the stage of mild cognitive impairment, characteristic changes in biomarkers such as tau, p-tau and β-amyloid (Aβ) already point to the development of dementia in four to six years. Guidelines currently being revised now include examination of these biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid. Lumbar puncture has become a low-risk method, but for patients it remains an invasive procedure which is often uncomfortable and frightening. For this reason serum-based biomarkers are urgently needed for the positive diagnosis of dementia diseases, Wiltfang said at a symposium held by Eisai and Pfizer. In a pilot study he showed that increased plasma concentrations of Aβ-40 together with lowered concentrations of Aβ-38 occur in cases of vascular dementia in particular. An increased plasma level of Aβ-40 together with a low Aβ-42 concentration in the blood is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's, according to data from a study involving almost 1,800 participants. (ugr)