The world has a rapidly ageing population and neurodegenerative diseases (ND) are strongly linked with age, with older citizens more at risk. Therefore the prevalence of ND is increasing dramatically. The major problem with ND is its difficulty to be diagnosed early. The goal of biomarker characterization is to increase certainty that a person has or does not have underlying pathology. A biomarker (biological marker) is defined as a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention. When used in clinical trials, a biomarker may be defined as a laboratory measure that reflects the activity of the disease process. Biomarkers may exist before clinical symptoms arise.
During last decades, many research projects where focused on research on biomarkers for ND and this research has blasted into hundreds of scientific articles. However, the body of evidence for biomarkers is not large and is variable across the different types of biomarkers. It is important to emphasize that standardization of these biomarkers is currently limited, and results often vary from laboratory to laboratory. Ultimately, it will be necessary to interpret biomarker data in the context of well-established normative values. Moreover, procedures for acquisition and analysis of samples need to be established to implement these biomarker criteria on a broad scale. Finally, although we consider biomarkers as “negative” or “positive” for purposes of classification, it is recognized that varying severities of an abnormality may confer different likelihoods or prognoses, which is currently difficult to quantify accurately for broad application. Important information is missing from many study reports, highlighting the need for standardization of methodology and reporting to improve the rigor of biomarker validation and there is still few consensus on how to apply these tools in the clinical setting. So it is very interesting its standardization not only for the clinicians but also for the basic scientific experts and laboratories. On the other hand, the therapeutic implications of biomarkers in AD could also be very interesting for industry and clinical trials due to the possibility of an appropriate selection of the patients thanks to biomarkers. Therefore systematic reviews and standardization are urgently needed to extract practical knowledge.
This site aims to foster an open international study group for arranging scientific information and developing a rational guide for implementing biomarkers into routine practice.
If you are interested on biomarkers for neurodegenerative conditions and wish to join this project, please register here.
authors can discuss and write recommendations on these scenarios:
Recommendations are approved by consensus of all authors working on that topic.
We wish to develop a practical guide on how to use biomarkers in the clinical setting. Particulary, we aim to give answer to clinical questions such as: