Blood tests help doctors detect Alzheimer’s early
From the editors of LabMedica in Spanish
Updated July 17, 2023
Current diagnostic procedures for Alzheimer’s disease, such as PET and lumbar puncture, can be invasive, difficult to perform, and often performed late in the disease. Therefore, there is an urgent need for affordable testing methods that facilitate early diagnosis, identify suitable candidates for new treatments, and monitor disease progression with a simple blood test. This development will bring significant benefits to patients, their families, health care providers and the health care system as a whole. Now, a newly released test could help evaluate patients who show cognitive symptoms that indicate early stage Alzheimer’s disease.
Quanterix Corporation of Billerica, Massachusetts, USA, has introduced the LucentAD test for use by health care providers in diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in conjunction with the launch of Lucent Diagnostics, a dedicated portal designed to meet patient needs. The LucentAD test offers clinicians an easier method to quickly assess the likelihood that a patient has an amyloid pathology consistent with Alzheimer’s disease. This information helps health care providers determine appropriate follow-up and treatment plans for patients with suspected Alzheimer’s disease. The test works by measuring the plasma concentration of the phosphorylated isoform of the tau protein (p-Tau 181), a residue of a protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Image: The LucentAD test evaluates the likelihood of a patient having an amyloid pathology consistent with Alzheimer’s disease (photo courtesy of Freepik)
LucentAD is based on the Simoa p-Tau 181 study, which has been the subject of extensive studies in large longitudinal and transverse cohorts. Its high specificity for the amyloid pathology associated with Alzheimer’s disease is well known compared to amyloid positron emission tomography, the gold standard for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. Because p-Tau 181 is a low blood protein, its reliable measurement requires high analytical sensitivity. While the clinical validity of measurements of p-Tau 181 Simoa in plasma is well established, the test has also shown a correlation with a reduction in amyloid load in the brains of amyloid patients receiving anti-amyloid drug therapy, as shown in the lekanemab (Lekambi) trial. AD clarity. Lekambi is the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
“A year ago, Quanterix announced the validation of our in-lab assay to quantify p-Tau 181 in plasma as an aid in the diagnostic evaluation of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Massoud Tolow, CEO of Quanterix. “The launch of Lucent Diagnostics and the availability of the LucentAD test expand access to our p-Tau 181 test to healthcare professionals and mark an important step towards our goal of helping build a global Alzheimer’s testing infrastructure.”