A blood test to diagnose neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is critically needed, both for early and accurate diagnosis, and to better run clinical trials to find a treatment. Patients with early symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases often present with mild psychiatric and cognitive symptoms, and existing diagnostic tests cannot differentiate between neurodegenerative and non-neurodegenerative causes of impairment. While some biomarkers have been identified, these tests are often invasive and costly.
Dr. VandeVrede’s project will study two promising blood biomarkers to develop a reliable and accessible blood test to diagnose early neurodegenerative disease.
This research is funded by the Alzheimer’s Association and the American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. VandeVrede is a Behavioral Neurology Training Program Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Memory and Aging Center.