. Nanoparticle-based detection in cerebral spinal fluid of a soluble pathogenic biomarker for Alzheimer's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 15;102(7):2273-6. PubMed.

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  1. This paper reports the fruits of a wonderful collaboration between an Alzheimer researcher (Bill Klein) and a "nanochemist", Chad Mirkin, both at Northwestern University. It follows very important work by Bill Klein and his colleagues implicating amyloid beta diffusable ligands (ADDLs)in the pathogenesis of the synaptic loss associated with Alzheimer's disease. Using the extraordinarily sensitive "Bio-Bar Code-based DNA Detection" system (J-M Nam et al., J Am Chem Soc 126:5932, 2004) with a pair of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to ADDLs, they were able to differentiate a group of 15 AD CSF specimens from 15 controls, with the exception of two possibly anomalous AD cases. The authors caution readers that a much larger study will be required. It would be especially important to include subjects with Mild Cognitive Impairment. The sensitivity of the method is such that there is reason to believe that useful diagnosic discriminations might be made using specimens of peripheral blood.

  2. I urge everyone to read this paper - it is a must read for anyone working in neurodegeneration. For the first time the possibility of early noninvasive detection of AD is on the visible horizon.