New international reference method for Alzheimer’s diagnosis confirmed

Written by Alice Weatherston

A new reference method developed by researchers at Gothenburg University (Sweden) has been designated as the new international reference method for Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The method, which utilizes measures of spinal fluid beta amyloid, could have the potential to diagnose the disease 10–30 years before the first notable symptoms appear.
The Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine, which was set up to improve standardization between and within laboratories worldwide, has given international recognition to the work of Henrik Zetterberg, Kaj Blennow (Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University) and colleagues.

Blennow highlighted the importance of the work: “This means that the method will be used as the norm for standardizing beta amyloid measurements around the world. With the help of the standard, people who are worried about Alzheimer’s disease can be tested, and get the same results regardless of whether it is done in San Francisco, Sao Paolo, London, Gothenburg or Cape town,”

The team believe that the reference method may have its biggest impact for individuals who are at the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and for those that could benefit most from drugs for mild to moderate forms of the disease. Blennow commented: “These new drugs will likely prove most effective for persons who have just begun to accumulate beta amyloids in their brain. Then a well-proven and standardized method becomes crucial, as it ensures that these people are identified in a diagnostically safe and precise manner.”

Source: Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg press release