A new technique has been developed to identify serum levels of Alzheimer disease (AD) biomarkers. The technique was developed by researchers at Okayama University according to a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer Disease. The test may also be able to differentiate AD from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In this new method, serum is filtered to remove large proteins so that peptide levels can be transferred to a chip for analysis by mass spectrometry.
Differences in a pattern of 4 specific peptides were seen that accurately identified in individuals with AD, MCI, and no cognitive impairments. The peptide levels also correlated with cognitive performance on a clinical test. Alzheimer pathology, confirmed with amyloid PET scans also correlated with serum markers consistent with individuals who had AD.
"The present study provides a new diagnostic biomarker set for MCI and AD by a new peptidome technology, but also suggests an important pathomechanism of AD for neuroinflammation," propose the researchers. Although the blood peptides can be used as an easy and cheap method of diagnosing AD in the clinic, the peptide separation technology can be used for discovering markers for other diseases.