Skin test can accurately diagnose Alzheimer's Disease


A minimally invasive skin test can accurately diagnose Alzheimer's Disease (AD) with high sensitivity and specificity, even in the presence of comorbid pathologies, new research suggests.

The test, which measures factors related to synaptic connections in the brain, could be added to other testing to "tremendously enhance the certainty of making an Alheimer disease diagnosis.

The findings were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022.

Clinical trials testing potential AD therapies typically include patients without a definitive diagnosis for AD dementia. That is because diagnoses are often uncertain, particularly during the first 4-5 years of the disease. Several tests to detect AD signs have been developed. These include MRI and PET scan tests for amyloid plaque, cerebrospinal fluid, and plasma measures of soluble amyloid and tau, and blood levels of tau. However, none of these tests have been extensively validated at autopsy.

Enter the industry certified DISCERN test (SYNAPS Dx) that measures factors related to synaptic connections in the brain, which is a better indicator of AD than amyloid or tau.

Skin Test Accurately IDs Alzheimer's Even in the Presence of Comorbid Pathologies

The investigators found that AD cell lines formed large aggregates, while non-ADD or control-group cell samples formed smaller and more numerous aggregates. The researchers then counted the number of aggregates and measured the aggregates' average area.

Based on these results, the sensitivity of the MI assay for diagnosing AD was determined to be 100% (95% CI, 86% - 100%), while the specificity was also 100% (95% CI, 84% - 100%).

The test could help rule out other causes of dementia for which there are treatments, such as a thyroid disorder, major depression, and vitamin B12 deficiency