Diagnosis of Alzheimer today can be done more accurately using biomarkers. But tests with biomarkers are not regularly used even at academic memory clinics. The reason is that the validation of these tests is incomplete and therefore is not replaced by the health insurance systems. An agenda of action has been developed by a group of international dementia researchers and has now been published in The Lancet Neurology.
– We trust that contributors for scientific research, such as the EU’s Joint Program for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) and Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI) will address the agenda and use it to call for development and validation of tests with biomarkers, says Swedish Brain Power’s director, Professor Bengt Winblad and one of the leaders of the research team.
Alzheimer’s diagnosis today is much more accurate than just 5 or 10 years ago. Then one in three patients was misdiagnosed. Today, with the help of biomarkers, specialists can diagnose Alzheimer’s with an accuracy approaching 100% up to 5 years earlier than before.
The reason that these tests have not been adequately validated are, according to the international expert group that worked out the agenda, the lack of coordination between research groups working on the development and validation of biomarkers. Around 50 researchers, of whom several from Swedish Brain Power, gathered in Geneva in 2014 to work out an agenda for what needs to be done to speed up the use of biomarkers in the daily clinical routine.
The massive literature search that the group has made has been published earlier this year in a series of 9 scientific articles in Neurobiology of Aging. It is the groups (The Geneva Task Force for the Roadmap for Alzheimer’s Biomarkers) agenda (aka Geneva roadmap), that now is published in the scientific journal The Lancet Neurology.
Co-authors from Swedish Brain Power for the article in The Lancet Neurology are, apart from Bengt Winblad, Agneta Nordberg, Konstantinos Chiotis, Kaj Blennow and Oskar Hansson.