Developing a skin test for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and for monitoring effectiveness of treatment [ 2001 - 2003 ]

Also known as: A skin test for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Zeinab Khalil (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Dina Logiudice Prof Robert Helme

Brief description Approximately 140,000 Australians suffer from Alzheimer's disease (AD). As the ageing population continues to grow, this number will double by the middle of the next century unless a cure or prevention is found. Scientists are continuously seeking new, more effective diagnostic tests in an effort to make it easier to diagnose AD in its early stages. Being able to recognize symptoms early and obtain an accurate diagnosis would give affected individuals a greater chance of benefiting from putative treatments. However, there is no single, comprehensive diagnostic test for AD. Diagnostic tests (including peripheral markers) that can help to reliably diagnose AD at an early stage are needed as are tests that can help in monitoring the progression of AD, including response to therapy. The accuracy and clinical utility of previously proposed peripheral markers (platelets and pupil dilation test) is questionable. The only way to confirm a diagnosis of AD is through autopsy. We have obtained a provisional patent application for the use of a skin test for early diagnosis of AD (Patent No: PQ2881-99). This test is based on our extensive research over the past decade to understand the biochemical mechanisms underlying the txic vascular actions of beta amyloid protein. This protein has been implicated in the pathology of AD and it accumulates in the brain, peripheral tissues and is present in circulating blood of AD patients. The test is based on our discovery that vascular effects of Ab could be detected in the peripheral microcirculation .We now wish to further examine the utility of this novel skin test. If the test is sensitive, it could be used for screening; if it is specific it would be useful for confirmation of suspected AD. If the test is sensitive to change in clinical status it would help select treatments that might cure or improve the symptoms of AD.

Funding Amount $AUD 285,000.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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