Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biomolecular Screening
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

New Biomarker Could Reveal Alzheimer's Disease Years Before Onset

Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A new study has reported the identification of what may be the earliest known biomarker associated with the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD).

The results suggest that this novel potential biomarker is present in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) at least a decade before signs of dementia manifest.

"If our initial findings can be replicated by other laboratories, the results will change the way we currently think about the causes of Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Ramon Trullas, research professor at the CSIC Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona and lead author of the study that was published in Annals of Neurology. "This discovery may enable us to search for more effective treatments that can be administered during the preclinical stage."

Difficult Diagnosis

Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. At present, the only way to accurately diagnose the disease is by post-mortem neuropathological analysis. The relationship of currently known biomarkers with the cause of the disease is unclear, making it nearly impossible to diagnose preclinical stages of the disease with any real certainty.

The CSIC researchers demonstrated that a decrease in the content of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in CSF may be a preclinical indicator for Alzheimer's disease; furthermore, there may be a directly causative relationship. The hypothesis is that decreased mtDNA levels in CSF reflect the diminished ability of mitochondria to power the brain's neurons, triggering their death. The decrease in the concentration of mtDNA precedes the appearance of well-known biochemical Alzheimer's biomarkers (the Aβ1-42, t-tau, and p-tau proteins), suggesting that the pathophysiological process of Alzheimer's disease starts earlier than previously thought and that mtDNA depletion may be one of the earliest predictors for the disease.

In addition to enabling an investigation of the potential causal relationship of mtDNA and Alzheimer's progression, the use of mtDNA as an index of preclinical Alzheimer's disease provides an important advantage over previous biochemical markers: the detection of this novel nucleic acid biomarker is unhampered by the technical difficulties associated with protein detection. mtDNA can be readily quantified by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) or droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).

Quantitation of mtDNA

Prior to this study, researchers had not reported that circulating cell-free mtDNA could be detected in human CSF. But with this study, Dr. Trullas' team was able to both detect and reproducibly quantitate mtDNA using qPCR, carefully optimized by adhering to the MIQE guidelines.

To validate their qPCR findings, Dr. Trullas' team used Bio-Rad Laboratories' QX100™ Droplet Digital™ PCR system. Unlike qPCR assays, the QX100 system provides an absolute quantification of target DNA molecules without the need for a standard curve. In addition, an important factor for their CSF analysis was that the Droplet Digital PCR system did not require sample purification to remove PCR inhibitors, as is necessary for qPCR assays.

"Droplet Digital PCR allowed us to validate our initial qPCR measurements because it provides absolute quantitation at the single-molecule level without relying on a standard curve," said Dr. Trullas. "As the technology becomes more widely adopted, we anticipate that Droplet Digital PCR will be the future of detecting mtDNA in cerebral spinal fluid."

Dr. Trullas hopes that other laboratories and hospitals will successfully replicate his group's research results, confirming that reduced mtDNA levels should be investigated as a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease. By finding a way to block this degeneration, clinicians may be able to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease before symptoms appear.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 4,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,300+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Researchers Develop Rapid, Cost-Effective Early Detection Method for Organ Transplant Injury
Chronix Biomedical and transplant expert Prof. Oellerich use Droplet Digital™ PCR to quantify early rejection biomarker.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Bio-Rad and Myriad RBM Partner to Develop Immunoassay Kits
Partnership to commercialize multiplex biomarker kits for life science research.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Bio-Rad Introduces new Pro-Human Diabetes Assay Panel
The Company has launched new Bio-Plex Pro™ Human Diabetes Assay Panels for its Bio-Plex® suspension array system.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Bio-Rad Announces Web Seminar Series
Web seminar series area includes Spectroscopy, Chromatography, ADME/Tox and Metabolomics.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Scientific News
Stem Cells in Drug Discovery
Potential Source of Unlimited Human Test Cells, but Roadblocks Remain.
Automated Low Volume Dispensing Trends
Gain a better understanding of the current and future market requirements for fully automated LVD systems.
Protein-Based “Cancer Signature” Uncovered
Researchers investigated the expression of ribosomal proteins in human tissues and discovered a cancer type specific signature which could be used to predict the progression of the disease.
Ribosome Recycling as a Drug Target
Researchers explain mechanism that recycles bacterial ribosomes stalled on messenger RNAs that lack termination codons.
Predicting Leukaemia Development in Cancer Patients
Biomarker may predict which formerly treated cancer patients will develop highly fatal form of leukemia.
Survey of New York City Soil Uncovers Medicine-Making Microbes
Microbes have long been an invaluable source of new drugs. And to find more, we may have to look no further than the ground beneath our feet.
'Lab on the Skin' for Sweat Analysis
Northwestern University researchers develop a low-cost wearable electronic device that collects and analyzes sweat for health monitoring.
Cancer Signaling Pathway Illuminating Way To Therapy
Researchers refine a pro-growth signalling pathway, common to cancers, that can kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Toxoplasma’s Balancing Act Explained
Parasite’s method of rewiring our immune response leads to novel tool for drug tests.
T Cell Channel Could Be Targeted to Treat Cancers
Researcher identify ion-channel found within T cells that could be targeted to reduce development of neck and head cancers.
SELECTBIO

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
4,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,300+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!