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As experimental therapeutics are discovered and developed for dementing illnesses like Alzheimer's disease, it is likely that there will be some associated risk to long term treatment.  Therefore, we think it is critically important to establish the means to identify those individuals at higher risk for developing dementia, to determine the relative burden of different diseases that are contributing to cognitive impairment in an individual, and to assess objectively response to therapy.
There are several approaches to these problems, including risk factor assessment (such as inherited risk), neuroimaging, and biomarkers.  We have focused on biomarkers: proteins and other molecules in body fluids that can be quantified and thereby interpreted to aid in prognosis, diagnosis, and response to therapeutics.
Our biomarker studies have pioneered two areas of translational research.  First, we have quantified free radical stress in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using GS-MS with selective ion monitoring for F2-isoprostanes, quantitative measures of free radical damage in vivo, in numerous diagnostic studies and clinical trials.  Second, we have performed protein profiling of human CSF using LC-MS with iTRAQ, another stable isotope dilution technique used in proteomics, to develop multianalyte profiles for Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease.