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Major biomarker candidates for Alzheimer's disease explored

Alzheimer's disease--specific biomarkers clearly are needed for the differential diagnosis of cognitive impairment in the elderly. What sets age-related disorders like hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes mellitus apart from Alzheimer's disease is that each has biomarkers that can be followed easily and repeatedly, not simply to diagnose, but also to monitor response and optimize treatment. In contrast, the current role of clinical laboratory evaluation for dementia is exclusionary. The development of such biomarkers is critical to translating efficiently the new therapeutic approaches for AD under development by many research groups into treatments for the millions who suffer from AD.

The March issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease published by IOS Press is devoted to the current research into "Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease." In the foreword by Elaine R. Peskind and guest editor Thomas J. Montine (University of Washington), the challenges and limitations of our current knowledge of AD biomarkers are outlined.

These investigators emphasize that "Progress toward controlling if not eradicating AD is at a crossroads where clinical, pathological and basic science studies have identified therapeutic targets that are now being tested. Critical to translating this knowledge to improved patient care will be developing panels of biomarkers that complement the clinical exam, cognitive testing, and neuroimaging."

In six articles, prominent researchers and clinicians involved in AD studies review the search for potential biomarkers for this debilitating disease.

Jeffrey L. Cummings (University of California at Los Angeles) discusses the use of clinical evaluation as a biomarker for AD, pointing out the need for biomarkers that accurately reflect clinical outcomes.

Following this theme, Douglas Galasko (University of California at San Diego) reviews some of the current candidates for AD biomarkers, such as amyloi
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Contact: George Perry
george.perry@case.edu
216-368-2488
Case Western Reserve University
7-Mar-2006


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