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MRI scan of a human brain.
A cerebrovascular disease could contribute as a risk factor for Alzheimer's but whether or not it affects the latter's blood biomarkers is unclear.
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Novel Blood-Based Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Revealed

A multicenter study in China investigates a new set of biomarkers to screen and detect AD

Science China Press
Published:Jul 26, 2023
|1 min read
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Discrepancies in diagnostic biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) may arise from racial disparities, risk factors, or lifestyle differences. Moreover, there has been a lack of systematic and multicenter studies to evaluate baselines of AD biomarkers in Chinese populations. Thus, there is an urgent need for research to investigate the effectiveness of blood biomarkers for AD, using a multicenter approach. 

In the present multicenter, longitudinal study, the authors evaluated 817 blood samples from six different clinical centers. They measured plasma amyloid beta (Aβ) 40, Aβ42, phosphorylated tau 181 (p-tau), total tau (t-tau), serum neurofilament light (NFL), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). 

Florbetapir (18F) positron electron tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were also performed. A combination of the APOE genotype with plasma p-tau and serum GFAP demonstrated exceptional performance in distinguishing Aβ status. Furthermore, baseline GFAP levels exhibited a strong association with cognitive decline over time and brain atrophy—with higher GFAP levels predicting a faster rate of neurodegeneration. 

In summary, these results validate the practicality of blood biomarkers, particularly in the Chinese Han population. They also emphasize the potential of p-tau and GFAP as noninvasive methods for screening and early detection of AD.

- This press release was supported by Science China Press