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Expert Rev Neurother. 2007 Aug;7(8):1021-8.

Biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104-2499, USA.


The development and validation of biomarkers for the latent, prodromal and dementia stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a pressing issue because of their high prevalence and an emerging set of experimental therapeutics that will soon force decisions regarding risk versus benefit. While genetic risk factors and neuroimaging will certainly have important roles to play, here we have focused on biomarkers assayed in body fluids. There is developing consensus for a central role for cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-beta (Abeta)42 and tau species to aid in the diagnosis of AD at different stages; plasma-based assays for Abeta species show some promise, but the picture is much less clear than in the cerebrospinal fluid. Biomarkers of different pathogenic steps thought to contribute to AD will also be important in assessing pharmacologic mechanisms of new therapies. Discovery approaches now underway may develop novel panels of biomarkers for AD. The next 5 years will see standardization of more established approaches, and the combination of different modalities into the most effective means for assessing different stages of AD.

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