The future of investigation of Alzheimer’s goes through biomarkers in the blood, those molecules present in the blood and other tissues that indicate the existence of this disease and other neurodegenerative ones. Biomarkers can indicate the a person’s risk of developing the disease but, in addition, they can facilitate the keys in the field of early diagnostic to find new treatments.
This is the main conclusion of the 6th edition of the ‘workshop’ on biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases driven by the Barcelona Beta Brain Research Center (BBRC), the research center of the Pasqual Maragall Foundation, University College London and the University of Göteborg (Sweden).
“There is many types of biomarkers. The three that we use the most are those of the cerebrospinal fluid (in blood), those of neuroimaging (resonances and CT) and general blood tests These are the four things that are done to one person who consults for any possible neurodegenerative disease to a neurology service”, explains Marc Suarez-Calvet, neurologist at the Pasqual Maragall Foundation and the Hospital del Mar.
In addition, as Suárez-Calvet adds, there is a specific test to detect Alzheimer’s lumbar puncture. “This is the benchmark test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease”, points out this neurologist. According to him, the novelty of recent years is that “it seems” that the same can be done in the blood, instead of a lumbar puncture. “This is still under investigation,” she adds. “We are working to see When will it be implemented in hospitals?
The BBRC biomarkers workshop, which took place last week and whose conclusions have been published this Monday, brought together for the first time in Barcelona more than 80 international experts in imaging biomarkers, fluid and digital for neurodegenerative diseases, with special focus on Alzheimer’s. In addition, some 60 PhD students from 11 countries.
“In the next few years there will be a paradigm shift in the approach to the disease. On one hand, we will have best biomarkers to detect very early And precise Alzheimer’s. On the other, there will be new treatments Although they do not cure the disease, they will help slow down the progression of the disease. cognitive decline,” This neurologist advances.
At the moment, there is no cure for the disease and the only treatments available are for alleviate the symptoms. Entities and experts in general have great hope in lecanemab, the new drug already approved in the US that slows cognitive decline by 27% Alzheimer’s. It is the first drug for this disease to appear since 2003.
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