An interimof 4,000 scans, presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, was quite positive. Scan results changed patient management in 68% of cases, including refining dementia diagnoses, adding, stopping, or switching medications, and altering patient counseling.
IDEAS uses an FDA-approved amyloid imaging agent. But although several are under investigation, there are no approved tau PET ligands. However, other less-invasive and less-costly options may soon be developed, the committee noted. The search continues for a validated blood-based biomarker, including neurofilament light protein, plasma amyloid beta, and plasma tau.
“In the future, less-invasive/less-expensive blood-based biomarker tests - along with genetics, clinical, and demographic information - will likely play an important screening role in selecting individuals for more-expensive/more-invasive biomarker testing. This has been the history in other biologically defined diseases such as cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Jack and his colleagues noted in the paper.
In any case, however, without an effective treatment, much of the information conveyed by the biomarker profile paradigm remains, literally, academic, Dr. Jack said.