Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains challenging to diagnose, especially early disease. Having serum AD biomarkers would be of significant interest both in the clinical setting and in drug development efforts.
Objective: We applied a novel serum proteomic approach to interrogate the low-molecular weight proteome for serum AD biomarkers.
Methods: A discovery study used sera from 58 any-stage AD cases and 55 matched controls analyzed by capillary liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry. Candidate biomarkers were statistically modeled and promising biomarkers were retested in a second, blinded confirmatory study (AD cases = 68, controls = 57). Biomarkers that replicated in the second study were modeled for the diagnosis of any-stage and very early stage AD. Further, they were chemically identified by tandem MS.
Results: The initial discovery study found 59 novel potential AD biomarkers. Thirteen recurred in more than one multi-marker panel. In a second, blinded, confirmatory study, these same biomarkers were retested in separate specimens. In that study, four markers validated comparing controls to patients with any-stage AD and also with very early AD. The four biomarkers with replicable ability to diagnose AD were then chemically identified.
Conclusion: These results suggest novel serum AD diagnostic biomarkers can be found using this approach.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; diagnosis; lipidomics; mass spectrometry; proteomics; serum biomarkers.