ARTICLE | Tools & Techniques

A plasma tau marker gains support for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease

Where blood tests for tau could fit into Alzheimer’s clinical care and research

August 1, 2020 3:51 AM UTC

Two studies published this week advance the search for blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease, but it’s not yet clear how transformative the plasma markers will be.

Both studies came to the same conclusion: one form of tau -- the phosphorylated fragment p-tau217 -- represents the clearest indicator of β amyloid status and clinical disease, and mass spectrometry is sensitive enough to detect tiny amounts of pathological forms of the Alzheimer’s target tau in plasma. Both studies also found that another tau form, p-tau181, performed well. ...