Alzheimers disease is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly. Currently its clinical assessment is based on the exclusion of other forms of dementia and a definitive diagnosis requires a confirmation by examination of post-mortem brains. Therefore, there is a strong need to find easy measurable AD biomarkers that could facilitate the early diagnosis and monitoring the efficacy of the few therapies currently available. This would favor the development of further therapeutic approaches. Recently, dozens of biomarkers altered in peripheral tissues and body fluids have been patented by a variety of approaches, including transcriptomics, proteomics and peptidomics. However, assays for the routine laboratory diagnosis of AD are not available yet. The validation of these biomarkers is hindered by the fact that patient classification relies on clinical diagnosis that is not always accurate and this problem obstacles the enrollment of well characterized large patient cohorts needed for confirmation. This review provides an update of the status of research on AD peripheral biomarkers in the current post-genomic era, including recent patents in the field.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, diagnosis, biomarkers, peripheral tissue, CSF, plasma, serum, fibroblasts, lymphocytes, proteomics, SELDI, amyloid peptides, tau, autoantigens, cell cycle
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