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Transl Res. 2008 Sep;152(3):103-12. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2008.05.009. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

Infrared spectroscopy: a reagent-free method to distinguish Alzheimer's disease patients from normal-aging subjects.

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INSERM U876, Université Bordeaux, France.


The physiopathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is related to various biochemical mechanisms that may be reflected by changes in plasma components. In the current study, Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was used to identify these biochemical variations by monitoring spectral differences in the plasma of 40 AD patients compared with those of 112 control subjects. A hierarchical classification in the whole mid-infrared region allowed a clear separation between AD and controls (C) that was optimized by using a restricted spectral range (1480-1428 cm(-1)). Spectral changes confirmed vibration differences between AD and C mostly related to modified lipid and nucleic acid structures involved in oxidative stress-dependent processes of AD. Moreover, the analysis of samples in the 1480-910-cm(-1) region allowed the distinction between C and AD with an accuracy of 98.4% and showed 2 subgroups C(1) and C(2) within the C group. Interestingly, the C(1) subgroup was located closer to the AD group than the C(2) subgroup, which suggests biochemical differences within the nondemented subjects. Biochemical studies revealed a significant increase in a specific marker of oxidative stress, F8-isoprostanes (8-epi-PGF2alpha) levels, in the plasma of AD patients as compared with total controls and subgroup C(2) but not subgroup C(1). Thus, these results suggest that use of FT-IR spectroscopy could be valuable to distinguish AD patients from normal-aging subjects.

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