Tag Archives: biomarkers

Merck Advances BACE Inhibitor Trial for Alzheimer’s Disease

Merck announced last month that it is moving ahead with MK-8931, an experimental BACE inhibitor drug designed to slow the production of amyloid beta protein in the brain, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Beta secretase (BACE) inhibitors work by interfering with the process that creates amyloid beta protein in the first place, in […]

Using Blood Protein Markers for Brain Health Screening

Can a simple blood test be possible to screen for Alzheimer’s disease and other brain conditions? New research discussed at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) last month suggests that reliable, low cost blood serum analysis for brain biomarkers is a possibility within the next decade or so. Blood tests are an attractive screening option […]

Should Medicare Cover the Cost of Brain Imaging Tests for Alzheimer’s Diagnosis?

I’m at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) in Boston this week, and one of the most discussed topics is the power of brain imaging tests to detect amyloid beta protein in the brain, one of the main hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging tests can identify amyloid beta deposits in […]

New Progress on a Blood Test for Alzheimer’s Disease

The PLoS ONE science journal published an interesting study performed by the Brain and Aging Research Program at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The study sampled apolipoprotein levels in blood samples from over 600 older adults participating in the ongoing Sydney Memory and Aging Study. Apolipoproteins are proteins that transport cholesterol […]

The Pros and Cons of Amyvid for Amyloid Beta Imaging

A topic that received a lot of attention at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine update on Alzheimer’s research was the use of Eli Lilly’s Amyvid for detection of amyloid beta deposits in the brain, one of the physical signatures of Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Gil Rabinovici, MD, a physician and researcher at […]

Testing for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

What is Mild Cognitive Impairment? Mild Cognitive Impairment, or MCI, is an intermediate stage condition between normal cognitive functioning and Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia: Signs of MCI include a “change in cognition” — this typically means memory problems, but it can also include planning and reasoning skills that could negatively affect higher […]

Privacy and Ethics Challenges on Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease

A timely article in the medical journal Neurology speaks to some impending issues that millions of patients and physicians will be facing over the next decade, namely the possible early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease in the pre-clinical phase, before functional cognitive impairment is present. New computerized cognitive testing tools and experimental biomarker tests are bringing […]

Rethinking a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease

A recent article in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease discussed several inconvenient facts on the state of Alzheimer’s research, namely that the almost singular focus on amyloid beta protein as the cause of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) has produced a remarkable string of failures in drug trials that target removal of amyloid beta in the brain. Authored […]