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Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute and Inverness Medical Innovations to Develop Commercial Test to Detect Early Alzheimer's Disease
Date:5/27/2009

and other dementias was $91 billion and the cost to state and federal Medicaid for nursing home care for people with AD and other dementias was $21 billion. Dementia currently afflicts over 29 million people worldwide, and the annual global costs of dementia are estimated to amount to $315 billion.

"It is still challenging to accurately diagnose Alzheimer's disease, but I believe we are on the path to realizing a test that will take the guess work out of proper treatment," said Dr. Daniel Alkon, Scientific Director of BRNI. "An accurate early test will allow physicians to treat patients sooner and more effectively before symptoms intensify and the disease rapidly escalates."

The only non-profit independent institution in the world dedicated to the study of human memory and memory disorders, BRNI first discovered the biomarker test's potential in 2006. By testing for signs of AD-related inflammation in skin cells called fibroblasts, the BRNI team located a biomarker for the disease that can be tested without the invasive procedures previously required, such as a lumbar tap. The key molecular targets that the BRNI biomarker determines reflect PKC signaling which appears to be compromised very early on during AD and probably well before the onset of clinical symptoms. These pathways could also be a focus for drug therapy.

"An early diagnosis could prevent countless patients from suffering through this devastating disease," said William Singer, President of BRNI's Board of Directors. "This partnership will ensure that expanded clinical trials occur quickly which will be a major leap in bringing a proven Alzheimer's disease diagnostic to the public."

A recent study has been conducted with more than 300 patients in 15 hospitals, and autopsy-confirmations have been obtained from 42 patients. Based on autopsy validation, the BRNI biomarker had a 98 percent level of accuracy in detecting AD. This accuracy
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SOURCE Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute
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