UK and Swedish researchers conducting a long-term study supporting the potential that testing blood levels for neurofilament light could be a noninvasive method to track the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
This protein spills out of damaged and dying nerve cells into the cerebrospinal fluid and then into the bloodstream. Recently published in JAMA Neurology, the team measured blood levels of neurofilament light, noting the opportunity to determine whether Alzheimer’s disease drugs were working or not.
Up till now, there is no noninvasive way of accomplishing this procedure. This study has built on other research efforts centering on the use of blood tests to identify Alzheimer’s disease 10 years or more prior to the emergence of the symptoms. However, the more recent UK and Swedish work focuses on far more common types of Alzheimer’s disease such as late-onset type that typically strikes after the age of 65.
Dr. Niklas Mattsson, Skåne University Hospital