There is considerable evidence suggesting that inflammatory responses may be involved in the neurodegenerative cascade of Alzheimer disease (AD). Blood-based biomarker analysis of inflammatory markers indicative of dementia could serve as a minimally invasive and easy-to-administer diagnostic tool in primary care.
Material and Methods:
The authors quantified 6 markers (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, insulin-like growth factor 1, vascular endothelial growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta type 1, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, and interleukin-18) in blood serum of 68 healthy blood donors (controls), 42 patients with AD at the dementia stage, 55 patients with AD at the stage of mild cognitive impairment (MCI-AD), and 25 patients with MCI non-AD. All patients have been fully characterized, including AD biomarker analyses in cerebrospinal fluid. Data were analyzed in an algorithm that was trained, validated, and then used for dichotomous classification of unknown data into data sets suspicious and not suspicious of AD.
Using this algorithm, 47 of 55 MCI-AD (85.5%) and 20 of 25 MCI non-AD (80%) cases were classified as suspicious of AD.
This panel of 6 markers in blood serum may indicate underlying neurodegenerative processes in patients with AD at the MCI stage. The authors assume that a deranged equilibrium of neuroprotective and inflammatory processes is an overall major cause for neurodegeneration and cognitive decline.