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Lancet Neurol. 2008 Aug;7(8):704-14. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70162-5.

Biomarkers for cognitive impairment and dementia in elderly people.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


The threat of a looming pandemic of dementia in elderly people highlights the compelling need for the development and validation of biomarkers that can be used to identify pre-clinical and prodromal stages of disease in addition to fully symptomatic dementia. Although predictive risk factors and correlative neuroimaging measures will have important roles in these efforts, this Review describes recent progress in the discovery, validation, and standardisation of molecular biomarkers--small molecules and macromolecules whose concentration in the brain or biological fluids can aid diagnosis at different stages of the more common dementing diseases and in the assessment of disease progression and response to therapeutics. An approach that efficiently combines independent information from risk-factor assessment, neuroimaging measures, and biomarkers might soon guide clinicians in the early diagnosis and management of cognitive impairment in elderly people.

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