A recent article in SciTechDaily explains that the many failures of newly created Alzheimer’s drugs are the result of clinical plaque tests that do not identify the disease in its earliest stages.
About the New Sensor
Plaques cause irreversible brain damage once they are deposited in the brain. A team of researchers recently discovered that AD can be detected by a newly created and patented immune-infrared sensor using misfolded proteins as biomarkers. The sensor was developed in Bochurm, Germany
Anyone following the efforts of researchers to find a cure for AD will be familiar with the misfolding of amyloid beta. The sensor can detect the misfolding as well as the resulting deposits that affect the brain called plaques.
As noted, the biomarkers can be found by a sensor in the blood within a seventeen-year time frame. That would be well before outward symptoms appear. This includes a fifteen to twenty-year symptom-free period.
The goal of the researchers is to evaluate a patient’s risk of Alzheimer’s by administering a blood test well before toxic plaques are able to cause damage to the brain. This ensures that therapy can begin in time.
Dr. Klaus Gerwert, of the Protein Diagnostic Center, cooperated with Dr. Hermann Brenner of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.
About the Study
Blood plasma taken from participants enrolled in the ESTHER study was analyzed. The blood samples were frozen from the year 2000 through 2002. The participants were ages fifty through age seventy-five.
Drs. Brenner and Gerwert led this phase of the study which involved sixty-eight participants who had been diagnosed with AD within the seventeen-year follow-up. This group was compared to 240 people (the control group) who had not been diagnosed with AD. The goal, as Drs. Brenner and Gerwert explained, was to determine whether AD symptoms may be detected in samples of blood at the onset of the trial.
The goals of betaSENSE are to stop the disease in the symptom-free stage before it causes irreversible damage.
Many neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s disease, ALS, and Parkinson’s disease involve misfolded proteins. The immune-infrared sensor can be used to identify other misfolded proteins, namely TDP-43 which is associated with ALS. The sensor is able to detect a protein’s misfolding by using antibodies that are disease-specific.
Sixty-eight individuals who eventually became AD patients were identified by the immune-infrared sensor
The team published the study results describing the immune-infrared sensor in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia journal. The finding has the backing of a comparative study that used a technology called single-molecule array and was also published in the A & D journal on 2 March 2022.
The technology for the new patent has been well received throughout the world. The premise is that a diagnosis based on the misfolding of amyloid-beta would allow earlier treatment and create more of an impact.
Aduhelm was approved by the FDA recently to treat AD. Aduhelm removes the brain’s amyloid-beta plaques but has only a minor effect on disorientation and loss of memory. Therefore, it was not approved in Europe in 2021. Additional details of the study are available here.