Study of Alzheimer’s patients launched in bid to find early test

A new study by scientists at PharmaKure – a UK based pharmaceutical company spun out from The University of Manchester -is to examine blood biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease patients.

The study of the patients tested by either PET brain imaging or amyloid deposits in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) aims to identify a blood test which could help with earlier diagnosis of the disease.

Certain blood biomarkers of amyloid- (Total, A40 and A42), aggregated α-synuclein, aggregated Tau (Total and pTAU (181), NFL and DJ-1 have been associated with Alzheimer’s Disease pathology.

The study is to evaluate the relationship of all these aggregated forms of biomarkers, including oligomers in the blood, to historical PET scan and CSF findings.

Launched this month (October 2022), participants of the study will be aged 50 to 80, who have had an Amyloid PET scan or CSF Amyloid assessment in the last five years that diagnosed the disease.

Dr Farid Khan, CEO at PharmaKure said: “Every three seconds someone in the world develops dementia. 850,000 in the UK and 44 million worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia related illnesses and this takes a terrible toll on patients and their families.

“The current annual societal and economic cost of dementia is estimated as$1 trillion, an amount that is expected to double by 2030 unless we find a way to slow the disease.

“Our hope is this study may lead to a blood test which could help with earlier diagnosis of this disease.

“That could lead to better health outcomes, lower health system costs and improved quality of life of patients by offering treatments earlier.”

Professor Andrew Doig of The University of manchester and co-founder of PharmaKure said: “Blood tests give further understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease pathology and an insight into formulating strategies for improving clinical outcomes by selecting future treatments that are tailored to the right patient group.

“In the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, it is not clear whether blood biomarkers are associated with brain imaging scans or amyloid in the CSF. This study could enable us to learn how to get early warning signs of cognitive decline in blood.”

Alzheimer’s disease is a fatal illness that causes progressive decline in memory and other aspects of cognition. It is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.

In 2020, the total cost of cost of care for people with dementia in the UK was £34.7 billion. Globally, the cost was $360 billion and by 2050 the costs could be a $1 trillion according to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

In the US alone, there was an increase of 8 million new caregivers from 2015 to 2020.

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