Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 116-123

An overview of biomarkers in Alzheimer's disease


Cognition & Behavioural Neurology Section, Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
P S Mathuranath
Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum 695 011, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.74256

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the commonest progressive, dementing neurodegenerative disease in elderly, which affects innumerable people each year, and these numbers are likely to further increase as the population ages. In addition to the financial burden of AD on health care system, the disease has powerful emotional impact on caregivers and families of those afflicted. In this advancing era of AD research, with the availability of new treatment strategies having disease-modifying effects, there is growing need for the early diagnosis in AD, often hampered by paucity of biomarkers of AD. Various candidate biomarkers for AD have been developed that can detect patients with AD at an early stage. In the recent years, the search for an ideal biomarker has undergone a rapid evolution. Novel technologies in proteomics, genomics, and imaging techniques further expand the role of a biomarker not only in early diagnosis, but also in monitoring the response to various treatments. However, the availability of sensitive and specific biomarkers requires the method to be standardized so as to be able to compare the results across studies. Inspite of tremendous advances in this field the quest for an "ideal biomarker" still continues. In this review, we will discuss the various candidate markers in five spheres namely biochemical, neuroanatomical, metabolic, genetic and neuropsychological, and their current status and limitations in AD diagnosis.


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