Spotlighting Accurate, Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease: World Alzheimer’s Month

SYNAPS Dx is taking this opportunity to raise awareness about the significant progress in accurately diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Introducing An Alternative Approach

SYNAPS Dx recently presented some exciting new data for the DISCERN™  test at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC). DISCERN is a diagnostic skin test that assesses the factors directly related to the formation of synaptic connections in the brain impacting loss of memory and cognition in people living with AD, as well as regulators of amyloid plaque and tau formation — hallmarks of AD at autopsy. At the AAIC conference, SYNAPS Dx presented data demonstrating that DISCERN can identify AD, even in people living with mixed-dementia.  More than 50% of people presenting with AD dementia also have causes of dementia, including blood clots, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.

The DISCERN test supports a clinician’s definitive diagnosis of AD versus other forms of dementia, even in people recently diagnosed with dementia. Without an accurate diagnosis, it is challenging to administer treatment protocols and help families plan for the care of a loved one.

Other tests don’t adequately measure dementia-related brain changes in living people. Having an accurate diagnosis of AD in people living with mixed dementia can improve care plans and therapeutic interventions. What’s more, an early diagnosis enables patients living with dementia to begin clinical interventions sooner, providing cost savings for payers, as well as saving time, money and the anguish of not knowing for those involved.

Potential Misdiagnosis

Getting a misdiagnosis of AD can be devastating, but 1 in 5 AD cases may be incorrect. In fact, one patient who was misdiagnosed with AD said the treatment he was under for seven years destroyed his life. The problem is that current AD diagnostic approaches have inadequate accuracy, especially in the early stages of the disease and other mixed dementias. 

Experts predict that the number of Americans living with AD could rise from 6 million to 13 million by 2050. Given the complexity of this disease, getting an accurate diagnosis is critical for ensuring that people get the right treatment as soon as possible.

Essential Diagnostic Test

The unique DISCERN test assesses factors directly related to the formation of synaptic connections in the brain, impacting loss of memory and cognition in people living with AD. Synaptic connections allow the brain’s nerve cells to communicate with each other and their activity is directly related to cognition and memory. The test also identifies the AD-specific degeneration for a definitive diagnosis even in the presence of mixed dementia.

This new AD test serves as a tool to manage appropriate patient access to future approved therapies, in addition to the clinical and economic benefits of improved, early diagnosis.

DISCERN has over 95% sensitivity and specificity and combines three independently accurate biomarkers: 

  • Morphometric Imaging to measure fibroblasts’ ability to form networks
  • Protein Kinase C ε to measure synaptic growth
  • AD-Index to measure phosphorylation of Erk1 and Erk2 in response to bradykinin.

Readers can view scientific application notes explaining the assays here.  

Every stakeholder can benefit from the ability to obtain an AD diagnosis. It helps to provide a more focused patient journey, enables pharmaceutical companies to identify appropriate clinical trial participants and allows accredited sources of reimbursement to establish protocols and prior authorizations for prescribing and reimbursing treatment.

Learn more here.

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by NeuroDiagnostics Inc, dba Synaps Dx. It has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. NeuroDiagnostics, Inc. is regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) as an accredited laboratory to perform high complexity clinical testing. The test is intended for patients with dementia. Test results should be interpreted in conjunction with other laboratory and clinical data available to the clinician. All rights reserved.