Assessing, Validating Clinically Relevant Biomarkers for Alzheimer Disease: Jefferson Kinney, PhD


The founding chair of the department of brain health at the University of Nevada Las Vegas discussed the plethora of Alzheimer disease biomarkers and the need for consensus on the value of each. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"There are some great imaging biomarkers that can be done for amyloid and tau, but the imaging markers present a challenge in terms of cost. How those are used diagnostically is still a work in progress. But I think a combination of these 2 approaches becomes really productive and something that we’re striving for in the center.”

Since the early 2000s, the advances in biomarker testing have allowed clinicians to detect and diagnose Alzheimer disease (AD) and other related dementias more accurately. Given that no single biomarker test alone has been proven to diagnose the condition, the available biomarkers are often used in conjunction. While biomarkers have become an important part of research and hold critical value in the future of AD drug development, there has been no consensus as to which biomarkers hold the most value.

Jefferson Kinney, PhD, will be co-leading a collaboration between University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health that aims to enhance neuroscience research infrastructure. A recently awarded grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will help power phase 2 of the project, which will focus on developing biomarker, imaging, and clinical research capabilities, among other objectives. Kinney, founding chair of the Department of Brain Health at UNLV, claims that figuring out the "gold standard” biomarker is still something that escapes the field.

In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Kinney disclosed which biomarkers will be evaluated in the upcoming project, along with the need for the community to pare down the amount of biomarkers and come to an agreement on which hold the most clinical value. He stressed that using biomarkers will be the true way to assess treatment effect and thus further advance drug development.

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