9 March 2023
Test shows nearly 97 percent accuracy detecting AD years before symptoms emerge
A team of researchers from Rowan-Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan-Virtua SOM) and Durin Technologies, Inc., have 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 percent 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 (AD)-related pathology at pre-symptomatic, 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,” explained Dr. Robert Nagele, the founder and chief scientific officer at Durin Technologies, Inc., and a professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at Rowan-Virtua SOM. “An accurate, non-invasive 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 that their 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 percent 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,” said Dr. Cassandra DeMarshall, the study’s lead investigator and Durin’s director of research. “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.
For a number of reasons, the test has significant potential to impact effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. The test is minimally invasive and inexpensive, it can diagnose or predict clinical decline in asymptomatic individuals, and it can monitor a patient’s progress while under treatment, making it ideal for use in clinical trials and in frontline and community primary care settings, including those in rural and economically disadvantaged regions.
The researchers noted that the use of autoantibodies as blood-based biomarkers is particularly exciting because it enables development of a platform technology for early detection of multiple diseases.
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About Durin Technologies, Inc.
Durin Technologies, Inc., is a New Jersey-based company developing diagnostic tests for early detection of some of the more pervasive and progressive neurodegenerative diseases. Durin’s diagnostic strategy takes advantage of the immune system’s unique but consistent reaction to the presence of each type of neurodegenerative disease. Monitoring of disease-linked changes in autoantibody profiles enable identification of biomarkers useful for early disease detection and diagnosis, often much earlier than is possible using any other existing method. The company was founded by Drs. Robert Nagele and Benjamin Belinka in 2010 and currently resides at the South Jersey Technology Park in Mullica Hill. Learn more: durintechnologies.com.
About Rowan University
Rowan University is ranked in the top 100 public research institutions in the nation. During the past decade, the University has rapidly transformed into a doctoral, research-intensive university with more than 23,000 students, program offerings on eight campuses and partnerships with health systems throughout South Jersey. Focused on access, quality, affordability and economic development, Rowan is one of only four institutions in the nation that offer both M.D. and D.O. medical degree programs. Its School of Osteopathic Medicine is a national leader among its DO-granting peers with $14.6 million in total annual research funding. Through shared investments in research and education, Rowan University/Rutgers–Camden Joint Health Sciences Center is increasing capacity for “eds and meds” partners to discover and develop medical advancements and further strengthen the region’s research and health care resources. Learn more: rowan.edu.
About the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Now in its 26th year of publication, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (JAD) is an international multidisciplinary journal to facilitate progress in understanding the etiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, genetics, behavior, treatment, and psychology of Alzheimer’s disease. The journal publishes research reports, reviews, short communications, book reviews, and letters-to-the-editor. Groundbreaking research that has appeared in the journal includes novel therapeutic targets, mechanisms of disease, and clinical trial outcomes. JAD has a Journal Impact Factor of 4.160 according to Journal Citation Reports (Clarivate, 2022). The journal is published by IOS Press. www.j-alz.com
About IOS Press
IOS Press is an independent international scientific, technical, medical (STM) publishing house established in 1987 in Amsterdam. We produce around 90 journals and 70 books annually in a broad range of subject categories, primarily specializing in health and life sciences (including neurosciences, medical informatics, cancer research, and rehabilitation) and computer sciences (including artificial intelligence, data science, and semantic web). In addition, we offer specialized services that support scientific advancement. www.iospress.com