Blood-Based Biomarkers for Alzheimer Disease: Eric Reiman, MD


The executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute discussed the future of blood tests as a biomarker that may help in addressing current challenges, including drug development.

“We think having affordable, scalable blood tests have the potential to revolutionize research, drug development, and clinical care.”

The potential for blood-based biomarkers in Alzheimer disease (AD) diagnosis is an area of particular interest for Eric Reiman, MD, executive director of Banner Alzheimer’s Institute. Reiman spoke with NeurologyLive regarding the specific opportunities and promise blood testing may offer for AD, particularly to detect the presence or absence of amyloid plaque deposition. 

Reiman discussed the potential of blood tests, noting his participation in a cross-sectional study, published in JAMA last year, which found plasma phospho-tau217 successful in discriminating AD from other neurodegenerative diseases.1 Access to blood tests, Reiman said, could be integral to advancing research efforts, among other goals within drug development and clinical care. 

This commentary from Reiman coincides with his recent presentation at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, held from July 26-30. Along with colleagues, he presented safety data on the use of pimavanserin (Nuplazid; Acadia) in treating dementia-related psychosis, concluding that the drug was safe and tolerable when combined with concomitant antidementia medication, namely acetylcholinesterase inhibitors or memantine.2

For more coverage of AAIC 2021, click here.

1. Palmqvist S, Janelidze S, Quiroz YT, et al. Discriminative accuracy of plasma phospho-tau217 for Alzheimer disease vs other neurodegenerative disorders. JAMA. 2020;324(8):772–781. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1213
2. Demos G, Foff EP, McEvoy B, Skoog B. Pimavanserin and concomitant antidementia medication use in patients with neurodegenerative and/or neurovascular disorders: safety outcomes from pooled clinical data and the HARMONY study. Presented at: AAIC 2021; Denver, Colorado; July 26-30. Poster 57661.
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