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A specific, sensitive and essentially non-invasive assay to diagnose and monitor Alzheimer's disease (AD) would be valuable to both clinicians and medical researchers. The aim of this study was to perform a metabonomic statistical analysis on plasma fingerprints. Objectives were to investigate novel biomarkers indicative of AD, to consider the role of bile acids as AD biomarkers and to consider whether mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a separate disease from AD. Samples were analysed by ultraperformance liquid chromatography-MS and resulting data sets were interpreted using soft-independent modelling of class analogy statistical analysis methods. PCA models did not show any grouping of subjects by disease state. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DS) models yielded class separation for AD. However, as with earlier studies, model validation revealed a predictive power of Q(2)<0.5 and indicating their unsuitability for predicting disease state. Three bile acids were extracted from the data and quantified, up-regulation was observed for MCI and AD patients. PLS-DA did not support MCI being considered as a separate disease from AD with MCI patient metabolic profiles being significantly closer to AD patients than controls. This study suggested that further investigation into the lipid fraction of the metabolome may yield useful biomarkers for AD and metabolomic profiles could be used to predict disease state in a clinical setting.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1235 - 1239


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Bile Acids and Salts, Biomarkers, Chromatography, Liquid, Female, Humans, Male, Mass Spectrometry, Metabolome, Metabolomics, Models, Statistical, Multivariate Analysis