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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Aug;1842(8):1232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.06.014. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Recent advances in the application of metabolomics to Alzheimer's Disease.

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Department of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Health Sciences Research, Division of Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


The pathophysiological changes associated with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) begin decades before the emergence of clinical symptoms. Understanding the early mechanisms associated with AD pathology is, therefore, especially important for identifying disease-modifying therapeutic targets. While the majority of AD clinical trials to date have focused on anti-amyloid-beta (Aβ) treatments, other therapeutic approaches may be necessary. The ability to monitor changes in cellular networks that include both Aβ and non-Aβ pathways is essential to advance our understanding of the etiopathogenesis of AD and subsequent development of cognitive symptoms and dementia. Metabolomics is a powerful tool that detects perturbations in the metabolome, a pool of metabolites that reflects changes downstream of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic fluctuations, and represents an accurate biochemical profile of the organism in health and disease. The application of metabolomics could help to identify biomarkers for early AD diagnosis, to discover novel therapeutic targets, and to monitor therapeutic response and disease progression. Moreover, given the considerable parallel between mouse and human metabolism, the use of metabolomics provides ready translation of animal research into human studies for accelerated drug design. In this review, we will summarize current progress in the application of metabolomics in both animal models and in humans to further understanding of the mechanisms involved in AD pathogenesis.


Alzheimer's Disease; Animal models; Biomarkers; Cerebrospinal fluid; Metabolomics; Plasma

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