The Foundations for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Biomarkers Consortium has announced a new initiative to identify inflammatory biomarkers for the early detection and subtyping of neurodegenerative and mood disorders, including Alzheimer disease and major depressive disorder, respectively.
Current research suggests that abnormal immune function may correlate with the development and progression of certain central nervous system disorders. However, lack of consensus and reproducibility among prior studies hinder the development of a core panel of inflammatory analytes. The Biomarkers Consortium hopes to overcome these obstacles by developing a harmonized human sample collection procedure and employing well-validated and highly sensitive technical assays.
Over 2 years, the new project is expected to quantify and validate a broad panel of inflammatory biomarkers in the plasma and cerebral spinal fluid of patients with neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases. Multimarker inflammatory biosignatures are expected to facilitate diagnosis and predict treatment outcomes for various central nervous system disorders, particularly Alzheimer disease and major depressive disorder. Biosignatures may be particularly useful in developing targeted treatment approaches and in matching patients with the proper intervention strategy.
“[Bringing] together the expertise and resources of government, industry, and not-for-profit partners to uncover critical signals of disease … can accelerate therapy development for patients around the world,” said Joe Menetski, PhD, Associate Vice President of Research Partnerships at the FNIH.
In addition to modernizing diagnosis and treatment strategies, the data generated by this initiative could allow for the development of new clinical studies in which patients are enrolled based on their biosignatures.
- Biomarkers Consortium – Inflammatory Markers for Early Detection and Subtyping of Neurodegenerative and Mood Disorders. Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. https://fnih.org/what-we-do/biomarkers-consortium/programs/inflammatory-markers-early-detection. Published April 26, 2018. Accessed May 7, 2018.
- The FNIH Biomarkers Consortium Launches Project to Improve Diagnosis and Treatment of Neurodegenerative and Psychiatric Diseases [press release]. Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. https://fnih.org/news/announcements/improve-treatment-neurodegenerative-psychiatric-diseases. Published April 26, 2018. Accessed May 7, 2018.
- What partners of the inflammatory markers for early detection and subtyping of neurodegenerative and mood disorders project are saying…. Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. https://fnih.org/sites/default/files/final/pdf/inflammatory-markers-partner-quotes.pdf. Published April 26, 2018. Accessed May 7, 2018.
This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor