Researchers develop test to predict Alzheimer’s disease years before diagnosis

pharmafile | January 30, 2023 | News story | Medical Communications  

Researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) have developed a blood test which can potentially predict Alzheimer’s disease three and a half years before clinical diagnosis.


Their findings were published in Brain, showing that components in blood can modulate neurogenesis, which is the formulation of new brain cells, in the hippocampus. Alzheimer’s affects neurogenesis in the hippocampus in the early stages of the disease, however, previous studies only evaluated neurogenesis in the later stages.


As part of their study, researchers collected blood samples from 56 people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) over several years ‒ 36 of the 56 study participants received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. These peoples’ blood samples were shown to promote a decrease in cell growth and an increase in apoptotic cell death.


King’s IoPPN professor and the study’s lead author, Sandrine Thuret said: “Previous studies have shown that blood from young mice can have a rejuvenating effect on the cognition of older mice by improving hippocampal neurogenesis. This gave us the idea of modelling the process of neurogenesis in a dish using human brain cells and human blood. In our study, we aimed to use this model to understand the process of neurogenesis and to use changes in this process to predict Alzheimer’s disease and found the first evidence in humans that the body’s circulatory system can have an effect on the brain’s ability to form new cells.”


James Spargo

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