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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia in adults and affects over 28 million worldwide. As the population ages this number will at least double by the middle of the century.
In the context of this increasing prevalence, there are three main reasons the growing demand for a pre-symptomatic diagnostic test for AD:
while symptom-free, patients can plan their future and modify their lifestyle
clinical trials can be setup to find therapies that are only effective when started early on in the disease process
once disease-modifying therapies are available then a test that provides an early diagnosis will allow patients maintain a good quality of life while on treatment
The existing diagnostic tests are only able to detect established disease. For example the widely used cognitive tests are only possible once memory deficits are apparent. Likewise MRI scanning and PET imaging require relatively advanced disease to be sensitive. There is currently no biomarker test that effectively quantifies the underlying disease activity in AD.
We are developing a blood test for diagnosis and prognosis of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease . We envisage that our test will be used:
initially by the pharmaceutical industry as a novel biomarker that can provide a surrogate marker for disease activity
for clinical trials to stratify patients according to their risk of AD
by clinicians to enable early AD diagnosis and subsequent monitoring of disease evolution