Bruna Bellaver PhD Postdoctoral associate Department of Psychiatry University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Researchers Find Biomarker To Identify Alzheimer’s Risk in Unimpaired Individuals Interview with:

Bruna Bellaver PhDPostdoctoral associate Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Bellaver

Bruna Bellaver PhD
Postdoctoral associate Department of Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh

Tharick Pascoal, MD, Ph.D.
Neurologist and assistant professor of Neurology and Psychiatry
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. What is the background for this study?

Response: Amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition is considered one of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the brain. The sequential order of this cascade includes the development of tau pathology and consequent cognitive decline.

However, many people with Aβ deposition in the brain do not progress in the disease, suggesting that other biological processes are playing a role in these pathological events. In vitro evidence suggests that reactive astrocytes unleash Aβ effects in pathological tau phosphorylation.

We found that, in cognitively healthy individuals, Aβ is associated with tau pathology only in individuals with increased astrocyte reactivity. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: With a blood test, we can identify cognitively unimpaired individuals that are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?

Response: Based on our findings, clinical trials would benefit from recruiting individuals that have both Aβ deposition and astrocyte reactivity as these individuals are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Also, by adding measures of astrocyte reactivity we could identify individuals that are more likely to benefit from pharmacological treatment and avoid unnecessary exposure to potential side effects.

Citation: Pascoal T, Bellaver B, Povala G, Ferreira P, Ferrari-Souza JP, Leffa D, Lussier F, Benedet A, Ashton N, Triana-Baltzerz G, Kolbzh H, Tissot C, Therriault J, Servaes S, Stevenson J, Rahmouni N, Lopez O, Tudorascu D, Villemagne V, Ikonomovic M, Gauthier S, Zimmer E, Zetterberg H, Blennow K, Aizenstein H, Klunk W, Snitz B, Maki P, Thurston R, Cohen A, Ganguli M, Karikari T, Rosa-Neto P. Astrocyte reactivity influences the association of amyloid-β and tau biomarkers in preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Res Sq [Preprint]. 2023 Feb doi: 10.21203/ PMID: 36778243; PMCID: PMC9915798.

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Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Marie Benz