Fluid Candidate Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease: A Precision Medicine Approach
JOURNAL OF PERSONALIZED MEDICINE | NOVEMBER 11, 2020
Del Prete E, Beatino MF, Campese N, Giampietri L, Siciliano G, Ceravolo R and Baldacci F.
J. Pers. Med. 2020, 10(4), 221
A plethora of dynamic pathophysiological mechanisms underpins highly heterogeneous phenotypes in the field of dementia, particularly in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In such a faceted scenario, a biomarker-guided approach, through the implementation of specific fluid biomarkers individually reflecting distinct molecular pathways in the brain, may help establish a proper clinical diagnosis, even in its preclinical stages. Recently, ultrasensitive assays may detect different neurodegenerative mechanisms in blood earlier. ß-amyloid (Aß) peptides, phosphorylated-tau (p-tau), and neurofilament light chain (NFL) measured in blood are gaining momentum as candidate biomarkers for AD. P-tau is currently the more convincing plasma biomarker for the diagnostic workup of AD. The clinical role of plasma Aβ peptides should be better elucidated with further studies that also compare the accuracy of the different ultrasensitive techniques. Blood NFL is promising as a proxy of neurodegeneration process tout court. Protein misfolding amplification assays can accurately detect α-synuclein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), thus representing advancement in the pathologic stratification of AD. In CSF, neurogranin and YKL-40 are further candidate biomarkers tracking synaptic disruption and neuroinflammation, which are additional key pathophysiological pathways related to AD genesis. Advanced statistical analysis using clinical scores and biomarker data to bring together individuals with AD from large heterogeneous cohorts into consistent clusters may promote the discovery of pathophysiological causes and detection of tailored treatments