Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Department of Radiology, Military Hospital, Jodhpur, India

2 Department of Pathology, Military Hospital, Jodhpur, India

3 Department of Radiology, Sri Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar, India

4 Department of Radiology, Command Hospital, Lucknow, India

5 Department of Radiology, Military Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, India

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the leading cause of dementia. However, current therapies do not prevent progression of the disease. New research into the pathogenesis of the disease has brought about a greater understanding of the “amyloid cascade” and associated receptor abnormalities, the role of genetic factors, and revealed that the disease process commences 10 to 20 years prior to the appearance of clinical signs. This greater understanding of the disease has prompted development of novel disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) which may prevent onset or delay progression of the disease. Using genetic biomarkers like apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4, biochemical biomarkers like cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid and tau proteins, and imaging biomarkers like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), it is now possible to detect preclinical AD and also monitor its progression in asymptomatic people. These biomarkers can be used in the selection of high-risk populations for clinical trials and also to monitor the efficacy and side-effects of DMT. To validate and standardize these biomarkers and select the most reliable, repeatable, easily available, cost-effective and complementary options is the challenge ahead.