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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2012 Jul;119(7):843-50. doi: 10.1007/s00702-012-0772-4. Epub 2012 Feb 22.

Longitudinal plasma amyloid beta as a biomarker of Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study, Department of Neurosciences, UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA 92037-0624, USA.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects more than twenty-five million people worldwide and is the most common form of dementia. Symptomatic treatments have been developed, but effective intervention to alter disease progression is needed. Targets have been identified for disease-modifying drugs, but the results of clinical trials have been disappointing. Peripheral biomarkers of disease state may improve clinical trial design and analysis, increasing the likelihood of successful drug development. Amyloid-related measures, presumably reflecting principal pathology of AD, are among the leading cerebrospinal fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers, and measurement of plasma levels of amyloid peptides has been the focus of much investigation. In this review, we discuss recent data on plasma β-amyloid (Aβ) and examine the issues that have arisen in establishing it as a reliable biomarker of AD.

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