Genetic risk factors and candidate biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease

Front Biosci (Schol Ed). 2010 Jan 1;2(2):616-22. doi: 10.2741/s89.


Alzheimer's disease is a multifactorial and progressive neurodegenerative disease, extremely diffused and with an increasing prevalence worldwide. There is an urgent need for biomarkers to diagnose AD early in its course. Furthermore, accurate biomarkers would be able to determine the clinical efficacy of novel neuroprotective strategies. Although the heritability of late-onset AD is high, our knowledge of the underlying putative susceptibility genes remains incomplete and the only unequivocally established late-onset AD gene is APOE. Nevertheless a number of susceptibility loci seems to influence the pathogenesis of AD, and variations in numerous genes have been considered to be important in the risk for AD. Many advances have been made in identifying biochemical indices of brain dysfunction, measured in body fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid and plasma, with different methodological approaches. Although these biomarkers are promising, none of them can predict AD with 100% confidence to date. This review will elaborate on the available selection of genetic and biochemical biomarkers for AD, with a particular reference to those linked to inflammation and oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Biomarkers
  • tau Proteins