Blood-based biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease: challenging but feasible.
Thambisetty M., Lovestone S.
Blood-based biomarkers present a considerable challenge: technically, as blood is a complex tissue and conceptually, as blood lacks direct contact with brain. Nonetheless, increasing evidence suggests that there is a blood protein signature, and possibly a transcript signature, that might act to increase confidence in diagnosis, be used to predict progression in either disease or prodromal states, and that may also be used to monitor disease progression. Evidence for this optimism comes partly from candidate protein studies, including those suggesting that amyloid-beta measures might have value in prediction and those studies of inflammatory markers that consistently show change in Alzheimer's disease, and partly from true proteomics studies that are beginning to identify markers in blood that replicate across studies and populations.