Clinical diagnosis remains a challenge in people presenting with cognitive or memory symptoms. Patients often see a number of specialists over many years before receiving a confirmed diagnosis, a great source of frustration for patients and their families.
Using the newly installed, state-of-the-art Simoa biomarker platform, Associate Professors Rosie Watson and Nawaf Yassi are developing a new diagnostic test that can distinguish between the various types of dementia from a simple blood sample.
Associate Professors Watson and Yassi are joint Institute laboratory heads, and clinicians at the RMH with expertise in neurology and geriatric medicine.
“Current methods of detecting dementia subtypes are expensive and require specialised expertise and facilities. We want to develop a fast and accurate diagnostic, at a fraction of the current cost, that is available in rural and regional centres, not just capital cities. It could also be used to monitor disease progression,” said Associate Professor Watson.
The project will identify blood biomarkers for each dementia type, including Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, post-stroke dementia and young-onset dementia.