Blood-based biomarker screening with agnostic biological definitions for an accurate diagnosis within the dimensional spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases

for the Alzheimer Precision Medicine Initiative (APMI)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The discovery, development, and validation of novel candidate biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are increasingly gaining momentum. As a result, evolving diagnostic research criteria of NDs are beginning to integrate biofluid and neuroimaging indicators of pathophysiological mechanisms. More than 10% of people aged over 65 suffer from NDs. There is an urgent need for a refined two-stage diagnostic model to first initiate an early, sensitive, and noninvasive process in primary care settings. Individuals that meet detection criteria will then be channeled to more specific, costly (positron-emission tomography), and invasive (cerebrospinal fluid) assessment methods for confirmatory biological characterization and diagnosis. A reliable and sensitive blood test for AD and other NDs is not yet established; however, it would provide the golden screening gate for an efficient primary care management. A limitation to the development of a large-scale blood-screening biomarker-based test is the traditional application of clinically descriptive criteria for the categorization of single late-stage ND constructs. These are genetically and biologically heterogeneous, reflected in multiple pathophysiological mechanisms and subsequent pathologies throughout a dimensional continuum. Evidence suggests that a shared, “open-source” integrated multilevel categorization of NDs that clusters individuals based on descriptive clinical phenotypes and pathophysiological biomarker signatures will provide the next incremental step toward an improved diagnostic process of NDs. This intermediate objective toward unbiased biomarker-guided early detection of individuals at risk for NDs is currently carried out by the international pilot Alzheimer Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program (APMI-CP).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Alzheimer precision medicine initiative
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Pathophysiology
  • Precision medicine
  • Screening
  • Systems biology
  • Systems neurophysiology


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