Alzheimer's Disease | Alz-ID blood test

Alz-IDTM is a blood test that identifies increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease among the general population. Alz-ID measures the levels of specific lipids, called plasmalogens, in your blood. If your plasmalogen levels are too low (a positive Alz-ID test), your risk of Alzheimer’s disease is increased.

Plasmalogens are specific lipids that are crucial for communication between neurons. If the levels become too low in the body, neurons lose their ability to communicate, resulting in cognitive decline.

However, a low plasmalogen level
DOES NOT mean that you have Alzheimer’s disease – just that your risk of Alzheimer’s disease is increased. Alz-ID can detect a low plasmalogen level up to seven years before any signs of dementia appear.

If you have low plasmalogen levels, you should speak to your family physician about regular cognitive testing and lifestyle interventions that are known to reduce risk. We are also developing a therapy to correct the plasmalogen deficiency. Learn more
here.
 
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As some people age, plasmalogen lipid levels decline (represented by the white arrow). The Alz-ID test can detect this decline before any symptoms of Alzheimer's disease appear.
How Alz-ID works
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Plasmalogen levels vary among the general population. Those with the lowest plasmalogen levels have the highest risk for developing dementia, while those with the highest plasmalogen levels have the lowest risk. Another way to think about it is that, on average, there is at least a 20-year delay for a group of subjects with high plasmalogens to reach the same incident rate of Alzheimer's disease as subjects with the lowest plasmalogens (right figure). Or, someone aged 80 to 84 with high plasmalogen levels (a negative Alz-ID test) has less than 10% probability of Alzheimer's, while a similarly aged person with low plasmalogen levels has a 50% probability.
The Alz-ID test is intended for use in risk assessment and monitoring; it is not a standalone diagnostic test, and is not a screening test for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Publications

- Peripheral ethanolamine plasmalogen deficiency: a logical causative factor in Alzheimer's disease and dementia. J Lipid Res. 2007 Nov;48(11):2485-98.
- Circulating plasmalogen levels and Alzheimer Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive scores in Alzheimer patients. J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2010 Jan;35(1):59-62.
- Plasmalogen Deficit: A New and Testable Hypothesis for the Etiology of Alzheimer’s Disease. Chapter from the book Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis-Core Concepts, Shifting Paradigms and Therapeutic Targets, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published September 12, 2011.