New study examines efficacy of blood based biomarkers for the prediction of Alzheimer’s disease risk and progression from middle age

Researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute are using the latest innovations in genetic risk profiling to identify middle aged people at high risk of AD and study whether blood tests can be used to track the earliest stages of AD in the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Changes caused by AD are seen in the brain decades before dementia symptoms. By the time a person is diagnosed with AD a great deal of brain damage is already evident. The best way to cure AD is likely to be to treat people before the disease develops or in the very early stages. It is important to be able to identify those people for treatment from when they are middle aged. Blood based biomarkers are more of an affordable way to do this rather than expensive brain scans.

The study will look at the results of blood tests combined with cognitive data and the latest brain imaging techniques, resulting in increased understanding of early disease stages and lead to the development of predictive tests that can be used in clinical settings. This will allow lifestyle interventions and early-stage drugs to delay or prevent dementia onset. In addition, it will allow the selection of high-risk individuals for clinical trials of newly developed drugs.

For recruitment into this study QIMR Berghofer are using genetic data already collected as part of the Prospective Imaging Study of Aging; Genes, Brain and Behaviour (PISA) and other studies at QIMR Berghofer, in collaboration with ADNeT.

If you are interested in taking part in future studies for early markers for dementia from middle age, please consider signing up to our ADNeT volunteer registry.