At this year’s AAIC, no sooner had scientists reported that phospho-tau in the CSF might reflect early responses to amyloid, than they reported parallel data for phospho-tau in blood.
Protein levels track with cognitive function and can distinguish Alzheimer’s patients from controls.
Using mass spectrometry to detect teensy amounts of phospho-tau species in plasma, researchers reported that p-tau-217 and p-tau-181 picked out people with Aβ pathology. Differences between groups appear to be huge. An MS-based test for plasma Aβ42 corresponded to brain amyloid, and is going in for regulatory approval.
At AAT-AD/PD, scientists showed that correlated amyloid patches are an even earlier marker than brain-wide positivity, while others puzzled over why tau signals are lower in older people.
An expanded set of CSF biomarkers exposed tight connections between p-tau, synaptic dysfunction, and neuroinflammation in people with brain amyloid.
This past year, therapeutic antibodies massively reduced brain amyloid, blood tests came into their own, and systems-based approaches transformed the study of gene expression, glial cells, and selective vulnerability.
Data from different next-generation tracers look similar. It shows spreading plaques kick off tangles by Braak region; memory starts slipping later.
Synapse loss and mitochondrial stress, as seen by separate PET tracers, go hand-in-hand in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and frontotemporal dementia.
Researchers at an international frontotemporal dementia congress reported progress in finding markers that track disease, but no luck thus far with diagnostic markers.
At CTAD, tau-PET data from people in different stages of various neurodegenerative diseases highlighted both commonalities and peculiarities.
Rather than changing one by one, many biomarkers—including cognition, tau PET, hippocampal atrophy, and CSF p-tau—shift together, around the time of symptom onset in young adults with familial AD.
New research presented at the HAI conference also finds links between UCB-J uptake and plaques, tangles, and cognitive decline.
Amyloid and tau PET are helping scientists pinpoint the underlying cause of specific AD symptoms. Perhaps imaging of certain brain regions will help predict an individual’s progression.
At HAI 2020, scientists more precisely quantified the relationship between plaques, tangles, and cognitive decline.
By engaging scientists studying every tau-based disorder, a new conference aimed to foster collaborations and research directions.