Advances in understanding and detecting Alzheimer’s disease

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Researchers are moving toward understanding and detecting early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, when interventions may be most effective in slowing disease progression. The findings will be presented at Neuroscience 2023 on Sunday, November 12, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder predicted to affect 8.5 million people by 2030. People with AD may have mild cognitive impairment and abnormal protein deposits in their brain years before dementia begins. Early detection is important for effective intervention, but existing diagnostic methods can be subjective, expensive or invasive. Understanding the biological and cognitive changes associated with early AD is essential for early detection, monitoring, and treatment of this disease.

New findings show that:

  • A blood-based test identifies detectable blood proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment (Yuanbing “Jason” Jiang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • After the accumulation of amyloid plaques, Alzheimer’s disease protein biomarkers accumulate faster in men and decline in cognition and brain volume faster than women (Keenan Walker, National Institute on Aging).
  • A blood-based test effectively detects early Alzheimer’s disease across ethnic groups with high accuracy (Li “Joyce” Wang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is important for evaluating the effectiveness of current interventions as well as new therapies. The research advances presented today may help diagnose disease in the future, measure disease progression, and evaluate therapies.”

Virginia Lee, director of the Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center, University of Pennsylvania

This research was supported by national funding agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and private funding agencies. Learn more about social behavior and the brain

Sunday, November 12, 2023

11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST

Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 202B

Alzheimer’s Disease Press Conference Summary

  • Blood proteins, which can be easily and accurately measured, may represent a less invasive set of candidate biomarkers for AD diagnosis.
  • Although the prevalence of AD is higher in women, men experience faster rates of cognitive decline and brain atrophy after the onset of AD-associated brain changes.

Comprehensive profiling of plasma proteomes in mild cognitive impairment identifies high-throughput blood biomarkers for early screening and classification of Alzheimer’s disease

Yuanbing “Jason” Jiang, [email protected]abstract PSTR198.18

  • The researchers created a library of 1,160 proteins in blood samples from patients with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
  • Researchers have identified nearly 500 blood proteins associated with MCI.
  • The researchers selected 18 proteins to serve as profiles of protein changes in AD and MCI.
  • While the protein panel was able to classify MCI and AD into two groups with more than 90 percent accuracy, blood-based biomarkers may aid in the early detection and staging of AD and MCI.

Gender-Based Trajectory Differences in Longitudinal Biomarkers, Cognitive, and Structural Measures After the Onset of Amyloid-β Accumulation

Keenan Walker, [email protected]abstract PSTR198.19

  • Using brain scans and blood samples from 76 older adults in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, with evidence of amyloid plaque accumulation in their brains, the researchers estimated that AD-associated β-amyloid proteins began 15 years before the onset of cognitive impairment. .
  • After the onset of beta amyloid deposition, the concentration of modified tau protein in the men’s blood increased rapidly; a protein in the brain that can form tangles and co-occur with amyloid plaques in AD; And brain volume and cognitive performance decline rapidly.
  • Previous studies have shown a higher prevalence of AD in women, but these findings suggest that men may exhibit Alzheimer’s-related brain changes and cognitive decline more quickly after the build-up of amyloid plaques.

Development of a high-throughput blood-based biomarker panel for early screening and classification of Alzheimer’s disease

Lee “Joyce” Wang, [email protected]abstract PSTR198.11

  • Researchers developed a blood-based test based on levels of 21 blood proteins to reflect a wide range of Alzheimer’s-related biological changes.
  • The scientists developed a risk-scoring system based on the test, which was linked to various measures of AD progression, including cognitive decline, inflammation, immune function and the formation of beta amyloid plaques and tau protein.
  • This panel accurately detected Alzheimer’s with up to 98% accuracy in patients of Chinese or European descent, suggesting that it may be useful in early diagnosis and monitoring of Alzheimer’s disease in clinical settings.

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