Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease
(l to r) ROBERT NAGELE, PHD, and GILBERT SIU, DO,PHD. Siu has participated in Alzheimer’s research with Nagele and recently joined the SOM faculty.
ALZHEIMER’S affects nearly 36 million people worldwide, yet there remains only one definitive way to
diagnose the disease – the direct examination of brain tissue following the patient’s death. Now researchers from
SOM, led by Robert Nagele, PhD, a professor at the school, have developed a blood test that uses human
protein microarrays to detect the presence of specific antibodies in the blood that
may some day be useful to
diagnose Alzheimer’s disease with unprecedented accuracy. The test, which requires only a small blood sample,
has the potential to spot Alzheimer’s in its earliest stages, years before symptoms appear. The same test also
demonstrated the ability to distinguish Alzheimer’s from Parkinson’s disease, another neurodegenerative
disorder. Nagele says this discovery may have a profound clinical impact, ultimately finding its way into
routine health care, especially if it can also be applied to detection of other diseases. His new company, Durin
Technologies, Inc., will further develop this technology.