Monday, January 10, 2011
Researchers working on a novel method for identifying disease biomarkers used it to identify some autoantibodies apparently related to Alzheimer's disease.
But the work fell far short of producing a blood test for the disease, as press releases and numerous headlines have suggested.
What the researchers from the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Fla., actually did was develop a platform for extracting disease-related biomarkers from body fluid samples. It's based on a surface coated with random "peptoid" molecules with shapes that might capture specific proteins in the samples.
When applied to blood samples from Alzheimer's disease patients and normal controls, the approached turned up two IgG proteins that were present in most of the patients but few of the controls.
But the experiments, which were reported in Cell, did not examine the presence of these antibodies in individuals with other forms of dementia or mild cognitive impairment nor their behavior over time -- necessary steps for a test for predicting or diagnosing Alzheimer's disease.
Medical News: Lab Notes: Test for AD Not Ready for Prime Time - in Lab Notes, Lab Notes from MedPage Today