Biomarkers in Sporadic and Familial Alzheimer's Disease

Simone Lista, Sid E. O'Bryant, Kaj Blennow, Bruno Dubois, Jacques Hugon, Henrik Zetterberg, Harald Hampel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Most forms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are sporadic (sAD) or inherited in a non-Mendelian fashion, and less than 1% of cases are autosomal-dominant. Forms of sAD do not exhibit familial aggregation and are characterized by complex genetic and environmental interactions. Recently, the expansion of genomic methodologies, in association with substantially larger combined cohorts, has resulted in various genome-wide association studies that have identified several novel genetic associations of AD. Currently, the most effective methods for establishing the diagnosis of AD are defined by multi-modal pathways, starting with clinical and neuropsychological assessment, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, and brain-imaging procedures, all of which have significant cost- and access-to-care barriers. Consequently, research efforts have focused on the development and validation of non-invasive and generalizable blood-based biomarkers. Among the modalities conceptualized by the systems biology paradigm and utilized in the "exploratory biomarker discovery arena", proteome analysis has received the most attention. However, metabolomics, lipidomics, transcriptomics, and epigenomics have recently become key modalities in the search for AD biomarkers. Interestingly, biomarker changes for familial AD (fAD), in many but not all cases, seem similar to those for sAD. The integration of neurogenetics with systems biology/physiology-based strategies and high-throughput technologies for molecular profiling is expected to help identify the causes, mechanisms, and biomarkers associated with the various forms of AD. Moreover, in order to hypothesize the dynamic trajectories of biomarkers through disease stages and elucidate the mechanisms of biomarker alterations, updated and more sophisticated theoretical models have been proposed for both sAD and fAD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-317
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2015


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • blood-based biomarkers
  • cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers
  • familial Alzheimer's disease
  • metabolomics/lipidomics
  • neuroimaging markers
  • proteomics
  • sporadic Alzheimer's disease
  • systems biology
  • temporal ordering of biomarkers


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