Jul 18, 2022
Dr. Michael Racke is the Medical Director at Quest Advanced Neurology, which is extending the options for neurologic diagnoses by looking for biomarkers in blood tests.
Michael explains, "And now, we're very much involved in developing plasma-based biomarkers to help diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease was a disorder that was initially diagnosed pathologically. You had to find the plaque and tangles in the brain at autopsy. Over the last 20 years, they've been able to show that with spinal fluid testing, you're able to identify changes in the cerebral spinal fluid suggestive of Alzheimer's disease. And now, we're also able to do that with a blood test."
"And for example, one of the ways that people were first able to do an evaluation for Alzheimer's disease in living people was to do a PET scan and actually demonstrate that you could do an imaging test that would show the beta amyloid plaques."
"So, Alzheimer's disease was diagnosed by finding these plaques. The plaques are caused by aggregation of peptides of beta amyloid. And then the other thing was the neurofibrillary tangle. And that's actually the aggregation of a molecule called tao within neurons. And the combination of these two things results in the death of neurons and the loss of synapses, which eventually leads to the cognitive dysfunction that you see in Alzheimer's disease."
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