Revolutionizing Alzheimer Disease Diagnosis with Blood Biomarkers: Nicholas Ashton, PhD


The associate professor of neurochemistry at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden talked about a pilot study that explored the potential of finger prick tests to remotely collect blood and provide reliable biomarker results for Alzheimer disease diagnosis. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“The idea of the finger prick test, and the venous blood spot card, is to create a method where blood can be collected remotely without temperature control or storage considerations. Where someone can receive a similar blood biomarker result, as if they would have done from a standard blood test, that we now consider as a very reliable measure of AD pathology.”

Plasma biomarkers have demonstrated the ability to signal emergence of cerebral pathologies that form the basis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease (AD), without the need for invasive procedures. According to the recent research, assessment of specific blood biomarkers has necessitated on-site sampling, which has led to strict, time limited, and temperature dependent processing protocols.1

In recent research conducted by senior author Nicholas Ashton, PhD, and colleagues, findings showed levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein, neurofilament light, and phosphorylated tau in the veins using a finger pick were associated strongly with standard blood analysis. Presented at the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, July 16-20, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, blood was collected from 77 memory clinic patients and transferred onto dry blood spot cards that were extracted and measured.2

Ashton, associate professor of neurochemistry, University of Gothenburg in Sweden, recently sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the pilot study. He talked about the ability of finger prick tests and bloodspot cards to be an effective and reliable diagnostic tool for AD. Ashton also shared his insights on the potential benefits and challenges of implementing remote blood collection methods in primary care settings and under-resourced regions. In addition, he spoke about how the use of bloodspot cards can improve patient management and monitor patients with AD who receive disease-modifying therapies.

Click here for more coverage of AAIC 2023.

1. Huber H, Montoliu-Gaya L, Blennow K, et al. A finger prick collection method for detecting blood biomarkers of neurodegeneration – a pilot study (DROP-AD). Presented at: 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 16 to July 20; Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Abstract 80275.
2. Simple Finger Prick Test Exemplifies Advances in Alzheimer’s Disease Blood Tests. News Release. Alzheimer’s Association. Published July 19, 2023. Accessed July 19, 2023.,have%20access%20to%20the%20test.
Related Videos
Michael Levy, MD, PhD
Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD
Michael Kaplitt, MD, PhD
video 4 - "Amyloid Cascade Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s Disease"
Video 3 - "Amyloid Precursor Protein and Amyloid Beta Species in Alzheimer’s Disease"
Svetlana Blitshteyn, MD, FAAN, director and founder of Dysautonomia Clinic
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.