The blood biomarkers puzzle – A review of protein biomarkers in neurodegenerative diseases
Journal of Neuroscience Methods | July 6, 2021
Barro C and Zetterberg H
Journal of neuroscience methods. 2021;361:109281\
Neurodegenerative diseases are heterogeneous in their cause and clinical presentation making clinical assessment and disease monitoring challenging. Because of this, there is an urgent need for objective tools such as fluid biomarkers able to quantitate different aspects of the disease. In the last decade, technological improvements and awareness of the importance of biorepositories led to the discovery of an evolving number of fluid biomarkers covering the main characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases such as neurodegeneration, protein aggregates and inflammation. The ability to quantitate each aspect of the disease at a high definition enables a more precise stratification of the patients at inclusion in clinical trials, hence reducing the noise that may hamper the detection of therapeutical efficacy and allowing for smaller but likewise powered studies, which particularly improves the ability to start clinical trials for rare neurological diseases. Moreover, the use of fluid biomarkers has the potential to support a targeted therapeutical intervention, as it is now emerging for the treatment of amyloid-beta deposition in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Here we review the knowledge that evolved from the measurement of fluid biomarker proteins in neurodegenerative conditions.