A new study provides additional evidence that a biomarker test can be used to reliably determine an Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.

The diagnostic biomarker test is able to detect the presence of known Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers found in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). The ‘signature’ combination of Alzheimer’s disease indicators were found in 90 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

With a 5-year follow up, the study was able to predict 100 percent of patients with mild cognitive impairment who progressed to full blown Alzheimer’s disease.

The test also found that 72 percent of people with mild cognitive impairment and 36 percent of cognitively normal adults showed early signs of Alzheimer’s pathology, suggesting that Alzheimer’s disease pathology is active and detectable earlier than previously thought.

The study appears in the latest issue of the Archives of Neurology, a JAMA/Archives journal. The study was conducted by team of researchers using research from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) Biomarker Core group, which is co-directed by John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, Co-director, Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research and Leslie M. Shaw, PhD, professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, both at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

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The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

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Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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