Rowan, Durin Technologies design blood test for Alzheimer’s disease that can detect it up to 10 years before symptoms

Test shows nearly 97% accuracy years before symptoms emerge

A team of researchers from Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine and Mullica Hill-based Durin Technologies announced the results of a newly designed blood test that can detect the presence of Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology up to 10 years before symptoms arise with a nearly 97% accuracy rate.

Their findings appear online ahead of press in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study involved 328 blood samples with the goal of determining if a test that monitors a small number of a patient’s autoantibodies can detect Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology at presymptomatic, prodromal (i.e., mild cognitive impairment) and mild-moderate stages of the disease.

“Alzheimer’s disease pathology begins a decade or more before the emergence of hallmark symptoms,” Dr. Robert Nagele, the founder and chief scientific officer at Durin Technologies, and a professor of geriatrics and gerontology at Rowan-Virtua SOM, said. “An accurate, noninvasive blood test for early detection and monitoring of AD could bend the curve of clinical outcomes through earlier participation in clinical trials and monitoring of AD progression of patients under treatment.”

The research team showed the test, using just eight autoantibody biomarkers, could accurately identify the presence of Alzheimer’s disease pathology across the disease’s progression, including among those originally determined to have no trace of the disease.

“Our test correctly identified nearly 97% of participants who were diagnosed as cognitively normal at the time their samples were taken, but who progressed, within an average of 48 months, to either the mild cognitive impairment stage or more advanced Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Cassandra DeMarshall, the study’s lead investigator and Durin’s director of research, said. “To our knowledge, this is the first blood test to accurately detect Alzheimer’s-related pathology several years before either clinical symptoms or more expensive and invasive tests can identify the disease.”

The samples used in this research were from participants enrolled in clinical studies at the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, the New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging and the Parkinson’s Study Group. Samples from 106 healthy, non-demented participants served as controls.