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BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need to discover Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers that are both easily measured and reliable. Research into blood-based biomarkers for AD using transcriptomics and proteomics has been an attractive and promising area of research. However, to date researchers have not looked into the possibility of AD medication being a confounding factor in these studies. OBJECTIVE: This study explored whether acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs), the main class of AD medication, are a confounding factor in AD blood biomarker studies. METHODS: The most promising blood transcriptomic and proteomic biomarkers from two recent studies were analyzed to determine if they were differentially expressed between AD subjects on AChEIs and subjects that were not. RESULTS: None of the gene or protein biomarkers analyzed were found to be significantly altered between subjects in either group. CONCLUSION: This study found no evidence that AChEIs are a confounding factor in these published AD blood biomarker studies. Further work is needed to confirm that this is also the case for other proposed biomarkers.

Original publication




Journal article


J Alzheimers Dis

Publication Date





741 - 750


Alzheimer’s disease, blood, cholinesterase inhibitors, gene expression, microarray, protein, proteomics, Aged, Alzheimer Disease, Apolipoprotein E4, Biomarkers, Cholinesterase Inhibitors, Cognitive Dysfunction, Cohort Studies, Female, Gene Expression, Humans, Male, Mental Status Schedule, Microarray Analysis, Nootropic Agents, Proteomics, Reproducibility of Results