The war against Alzheimer’s is fought at INRIM
Within the European-funded NeuroMET project, INRIM is contributing to the development of the Digital Polimerase Chain Reaction – dPCR, a sophisticated analysis technique that will enable the detection in the blood of even small amounts of microRNAs, biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, to get to a blood test that can identify individuals with or at risk of developing the disease.
To find out if a person has Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive and behavioural tests and cerebrospinal fluid analysis are currently carried out to detect biomarkers. It is an invasive test that requires a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. NeuroMET aims to achieve non-invasive methods that enable early diagnosis and the monitoring of the progression of Alzheimer’s disease through a simple blood test for the detection of biomarkers.
However, extremely precise measurement techniques are required. INRIM will work on the development of the dPCR, which multiplies the number of biomarkers to highlight them. This will allow identification and measurement even in very small amounts of blood.
“Thanks to the dPCR”, explains Carla Divieto of the INRIM research team led by Mariapaola Sassi, “a simple blood test is a likely candidate to become the tool of choice for monitoring the progression of this disease and the effects of therapies”.
“It could also become a useful diagnostic tool to be used on young and healthy subjects”, adds the researcher, “to start an early prevention programme”.
The project, which will run for three years, is funded by the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) and is coordinated by LGC, the UK’s organization that provides references and measurement methods for chemistry and biosciences.