NeuroComplexity a Diagnostic Dilemma?
Diagnosing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s can be a hit and miss process – but is a lab-based test on the horizon?
Roisin McGuigan |
At a Glance
- Current tests for neurodegenerative disease aren’t perfect, and can lead to misdiagnosis – it is estimated that up to 20 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses could be incorrect
- The race is on to develop an alternative to clinical assessment – including lood-, breath-, skin- and spinal fluid-based tests
- Here, we hone in on four research teams hoping to be one of the first to develop an accessible and sensitive diagnostic technique
- Any that succeed would have a huge impact on both clinical trial recruitment and patient management, but there is still some way to go before this becomes a reality
Diagnosing age-related neurodegenerative disorders (NDs) is a challenge. In the clinic, the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and other age-related dementias relies on a mixture of clinical assessment of cognitive symptoms, brain imaging, and the measurement of proxy biomarkers. But these methods are far from ideal – the only way to obtain a definitive diagnosis of AD, for example, is by pathological examination of brain tissue after death – and it goes without saying that this has little direct application to patient diagnosis and management.
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