The advances in biomarkers that allow alerting of a possible misconduct alzheimer with a blood test and the new treatments that do not cure but delay cognitive decline suppose a paradigm shift that will not only benefit patients, but Also caregivers.
The new advances in the approach to the disease, especially in the field of biomarkers, they star in some days that are celebrated until May 19 in the Catalan capital, with the participation of more than 20 world leaders.
The sessions are organized by Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), the research center of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation, together with University College London (UK) and the University of Gothenburg (Sweden).
In statements to the press, the head of the BBRC Biomarkers in Fluids and Translational Neurology group, Marc Suarez Calvet, stressed that in the last two years there have been “a paradigm shift” in the approach to the disease.
On the one hand, researchers have made progress in the development of biomarkers in blood, that is, elements that can be identified in a blood test and that it has been observed that they can detect in a “very early and precise” way Alzheimer’s, Suárez has indicated.
At this time, the “gold standard” test is the cerebrospinal fluid analysis, which has to be extracted by means of a lumbar puncture, annoying and invasive procedure.
But researchers are already in the final phases of clinical implementation of blood tests as a screening test, with what could already be generalized at least in specialized centers (not yet in primary school) within a period of about five years, Marta del Campo, also a BBRC researcher, has predicted.
It remains to be seen, and that is part of the pending investigation, whether the blood test alone It will be enough for all or only a part of the patients, and in which cases it will be necessary to fill it in with more evidence (cerebrospinal fluid or imaging techniques).
The other key element of paradigm shift is he advancement in medicines as is the case of lecanemab, which the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is studying and which reduces mental deterioration.
“They are drugs that, although they do not cure the disease, change their evolution so we are optimistic”, Suárez has highlighted.
The researcher has emphasized in this sense that we are before “a paradigm shift” who has stressed that it will not only benefit patients, but also caregivers, since it is a neurodegenerative disease which entails a progressive and significant loss of autonomy.
Suárez has highlighted that the inclusion in the coming years of new biomarkers in blood and new drugs, together with the progressive aging of the population, will force a adaptation of the health system: “All this requires a infrastructure that we don’t have right now,” has indicated.
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