New Markers For Alzheimer’s Disease Could Aid Diagnosis And Speed Up Drug Development

Alzheimer’s disease begins altering the brain long before it affects memory and thinking.

So scientists are developing a range of tests to detect these changes in the brain, which include an increase in toxic proteins, inflammation and damage to the connections between brain cells.

The tests rely on biomarkers, shorthand for biological markers, that signal steps along the progression of disease. These new tests are already making Alzheimer’s diagnosis more accurate, and helping pharmaceutical companies test new drugs.

Read more on  Morning Edition, NPR

Photo Caption: The squiggly blue lines visible in the neurons are an Alzheimer’s biomarker called tau. The brownish clumps are amyloid plaques. Courtesy of the National Institute on Aging/National Institutes of Health