Published online Dec 31, 2011. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v1.i1.8
Revised: October 14, 2011
Accepted: December 26, 2011
Published online: December 31, 2011
Due to an ever aging society and growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the challenge to meet social and health care system needs will become increasingly difficult. Unfortunately, a definite ante mortem diagnosis is not possible. Thus, an early diagnosis and identification of AD patients is critical for promising, early pharmacological interventions as well as addressing health care needs. The most advanced and most reliable markers are β-amyloid, total tau and phosphorylated tau in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In blood, no single biomarker has been identified despite an intense search over the last decade. The most promising approaches consist of a combination of several blood-based markers increasing the reliability, sensitivity and specificity of the AD diagnosis. However, contradictory data make standardized testing methods in longitudinal and multi-center studies extremely difficult. In this review, we summarize a range of the most promising CSF and blood biomarkers for diagnosing AD.