Dr. Philippe Douyon, a board-certified neurologist, leads a neurology organization dedicated to overall health and wellness relating to the brain.
An estimated 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a highly complex disease that is impacting individuals and families and presenting diagnostic challenges to physicians. An accurate diagnosis is critical for ensuring that people get the right treatment as soon as possible.
Understanding the Value of Early Diagnosis
Timing is everything with patients recently diagnosed with dementia. Amato explains why an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, allows for timely interventions that may slow cognitive decline and allow people to spend more time with their loved ones. With the recent development and FDA approval of drugs designed to slow the progression of the disease, the importance of an early, accurate diagnosis is more important than ever since these new drugs are not only expensive but can also have serious side effects. Getting an accurate Alzheimer’s diagnosis is important because treatment options for patients are specific and distinct compared to treatments for patients with other forms of non-Alzheimer’s dementia.
A Closer Look at DISCERN™
In this podcast, Amato highlights a diagnostic pathway forward for the Alzheimer’s community, including an easily accessible and accurate DISCERN™ test for Alzheimer’s disease. DISCERN™ is comprised of three different assays that assess several critical factors directly related to Alzheimer’s disease that regulate memory, the formation of synaptic connections among neurons, the levels of amyloid plaques and levels of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. The DISCERN™ test is autopsy-validated versus the NIH Gold Standard definition of AD.
The Morphometric Imaging (MI) assay is based on measuring an ensemble of multiple factors such as inflammation, synaptic growth and neuronal death that can be detected in skin fibroblasts. Complementary to the MI assay, the protein kinase C (PKCε) assay includes fibroblasts from the skin biopsy that are cultured and analyzed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to measure PKCε levels in relation to Aβ exposure in the brain. The AD-biomarker index also composes one of the three assays and tests skin fibroblasts from biopsies to culture to confluency.
* The DISCERN™ 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.