Plasma biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease.Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008 May; 21(3):260-7.CO
PURPOSE OF REVIEW
The importance of biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease is increasing. The present review aims to offer a general view of plasma biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease and to discuss their relevance and limitations.
The broad overlap in the plasma amyloid beta protein (Abeta) levels between patients with Alzheimer's disease and control individuals indicates that the plasma Abeta level cannot differentiate cases of sporadic Alzheimer's disease from control cases. Although the significance of Abeta for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease is controversial, high plasma concentrations of Abeta40 and low plasma concentrations of Abeta42 indicate an increased risk of dementia.
The usefulness of biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid has been shown by numerous studies; this test is not commonly used, however, and blood biomarkers are therefore preferred. Increasing evidence shows that the plasma Abeta concentration may be a premorbid marker for the risk of Alzheimer's disease. It may be used for therapeutic monitoring, diagnosis of Abeta deposition in the brain, and also as a surrogate genetic marker to identify novel genetic determinants of Alzheimer's disease. A potential role of plasma Abeta concentration as a marker of incipient dementia warrants further investigation.