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Review
. 2018;63(4):1235-1259.
doi: 10.3233/JAD-180181.

Platelets: Peripheral Biomarkers of Dementia?

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Review

Platelets: Peripheral Biomarkers of Dementia?

Oluwatomi E S Akingbade et al. J Alzheimers Dis. .

Abstract

Dementia continues to be the most burdening neurocognitive disorder, having a negative impact on the lives of millions. The search for biomarkers to improve the clinical diagnosis of dementia is ongoing, with the focus on effective use of readily accessible peripheral markers. In this review, we concentrate on platelets as biomarkers of dementia and analyze their potential as easily-accessible clinical biomarkers for various subtypes of dementia. Current platelet protein biomarkers that have been investigated for their clinical utility in the diagnosis of dementia, in particular Alzheimer's disease, include amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP), the AβPP secretases (BACE1 and ADAM10), α-synuclein, tau protein, serotonin, cholesterol, phospholipases, clusterin, IgG, surface receptors, MAO-B, and coated platelets. Few of them, i.e., platelet tau, AβPP (particularly with regards to coated platelets) and secreted ADAM10 and BACE1 show the most promise to be taken forward into clinical setting to diagnose dementia. Aside from protein biomarkers, changes in factors such as mean platelet volume have the potential to play a very specific role in both the dementia diagnosis and prognosis. This review raises a number of research questions for consideration before application of the above biomarkers to routine clinical setting. It is without doubt that there is a need for more clarification on the effects of dementia on platelet morphology and protein content before these changes can be clinically applied as dementia biomarkers and explored further in differentiating distinct dementia subtypes.

Keywords: Amyloid; biomarkers; blood platelets; dementia; tau protein.

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