New blood test research for diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease shows promising results

23 April 2020 – A new study in the Lancet Neurology has shown that blood phosphorylated tau 181 may be a promising biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease. This is based on a diagnostic performance and prediction modelling study using data from four prospective cohorts.

Read the full paper here or download the PDF.

According to the paper the blood p-tau 181 assay has the potential to be incorporated into clinical practice as a rapid screening test to identify or rule in Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology and to guide therapy and clinical management of patients with suspected neurological disorders (as being positive on the blood test would give you access to randomised clinical trials and eventual disease-modifying therapies).

Professor Serge Gauthier, MD, member of ADI’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel (former Chair), said: “This blood test allows for a reliable measurement of a protein that is a key factor in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease. A validation study of its clinical utility will be done by participating investigators, many of which are based in countries with ADI members.

“This important finding has been made possible by participants in observational cohort studies who should be thanked for their dedication and interest in finding new diagnostic tests and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.”

Paola Barbarino, ADI’s Chief Executive, said: “Such welcome news and research progress - we truly look forward to the validation studies. The global Alzheimer’s community is awaiting the day we have a simple, practical and scalable test as the benefits will immeasurable to diagnosis and then to accessing post diagnostic support”.   

Where next?