People are living with dementia in the world
Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a progressive neurological disease. AD is generally characterized by widespread deposition of amyloid beta (amyloid-β) plaques outside neurons and aggregation of abnormally phosphorylated tau proteins (p-tau) within neurons. There is also decreased production of neurotransmitters. These changes are associated with damage and loss of neurons in various parts of the brain. The biological mechanisms that lead to the neuronal damage develop years before the onset of clinical symptoms.
AD is the most common cause of dementia. Initial symptoms are typically short-term memory difficulties noticed in conversations and events, misplacing items, and forgetting the names of places and objects. As the disease progresses, confusion, disorientation, memory loss, language problems, and behavioral changes increasingly occur. In the later stages of the disease, assistance is needed in all daily activities, and significant short- and long-term memory problems may occur.
Currently, there is no cure for AD. Approved symptomatic treatments focus on increasing the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain. Current research is focused on therapies preventing the pathogenic mechanisms in early stages.
Appropriate and timely diagnosis is crucial in supporting and treating individuals with AD, but also for adequate care and the possibility of participating in clinical trials.
Diagnosing AD requires a thorough examination that includes an assessment of the patient's medical history, cognitive evaluations, a physical examination, and a neurologic examination.
Accurate diagnosis, prognosis, and disease monitoring are notoriously difficult when relying on clinical information only. Therefore, biomarkers underlying pathologic mechanisms, such as amyloid-β deposition and phosphorylated tau (p-tau), play an important role; research has shown that they correlate with pathological features of the disease7.
These biomarkers can be detected in the brain using positron emission tomography (PET) scans or measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Technological breakthroughs have made it possible to measure these markers in a simple blood sample. Although brain scans are very precise, their high cost, invasive nature, and low availability prevent their widespread use in clinical practice. Biomarkers in CSF or blood are relevant because they show elevation at early stages of the disease5.
p-Tau181 is a promising biomarker for AD. The p-Tau181 biomarker strongly corresponds to the density of amyloid- β plaques and tau tangles measured by PET scanning8,9.
In addition, p-Tau181 is highly accurate for the differential diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease from other neurodegenerative disorders, including non-AD dementia9.
p-Tau181 is also effective at detecting early pathological changes in AD since the levels in plasma increase in early disease stages9,10,11,12. The p-Tau181 biomarker can identify patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in individuals with subjective cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment combined with cognitive testing and additional genotyping11.
The use of p-Tau181 as a biomarker for AD has also been positively demonstrated in an ethnically diverse population13.
The amount of p-Tau181 increases with symptom progression and severity, allowing disease progression and therapeutic response monitoring. response14,15.
Blood-based tests offer advantages over CSF tests by allowing for more comfortable patient sampling and less time required by healthcare professionals. Blood collection can be performed in conjunction with routine blood sampling; samples can be collected more often, which is advantageous when closer monitoring is needed.
The advent of ultra-sensitive technology is enabling the possibility of moving toward widespread blood-sampled testing in clinical practice and trials.
Wieslab Diagnostic Services has developed an app to assist you in interpreting the new p-Tau181 blood test. In the app, you will find further information on the ultrasensitive SIMOA® technology, when to use the tests and how to prepare the sample.
Benefit from our expertise, flexible solutions, and exceptional customer service - talk to us about your testing needs today!