Noninvasive plasma biomarker testing provides faster answers

Answers from the Lab

Accumulation of beta amyloid in the brain is a hallmark pathological feature of Alzheimer’s disease and the target for newly approved therapeutic interventions. While imaging and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker testing can measure amyloid pathology, blood biomarkers are a noninvasive testing alternative.

In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Ph.D., discusses Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ new plasma biomarker assay, a highly accessible and accurate testing option for symptomatic individuals aged 50 and above.

"One of the challenges with the use of CSF biomarkers is the invasiveness of the CSF collection and also the access to have a lumbar puncture performed," says Dr. Algeciras-Schimnich. "The introduction of Alzheimer's disease blood biomarkers into clinical practice provides a noninvasive tool to aid in the evaluation of patients presenting with mild cognitive impairment as well as in determining the eligibility for these disease-modifying therapies."

Clinically validated through Mayo Clinic research, this immunoassay identifies phosphorylated Tau 217 (p-Tau217). The test interpretation cutpoints have been optimized to provide a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 96% for the detection of abnormal amyloid pathology based on amyloid-PET positivity.

“Now that we have disease modifying therapies available, biomarker testing for Alzheimer's disease will become an essential component of the clinical evaluations of patients with cognitive impairment,” Dr. Algeciras-Schimnich says. “The plasma assay for p-Tau217 will allow us to provide a rapid and a scalable tool for the detection of amyloid pathology.”

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' plasma biomarker testing for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Robin Huiras-Carlson

Robin Huiras-Carlson is a senior marketing specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories and a Mayo Clinic employee since 2015. Her writing focuses on specialty testing, innovation, and patient-focused initiatives.