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Certain P-Tau Biomarker Differentiates Alzheimer's Disease, Other Tauopathies

Specific phospho-tau (p-tau) antibodies can differentiate Alzheimer's disease brains, even from brains affected by other tauopathies, a new study has found. This suggests, the researchers add, that a certain form of p-tau could represent a biomarker for the condition. In a new study appearing in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, researchers from North Carolina Central University and Duke University Medical School used a tau antibody screening approach to analyze post-mortem brain samples from individuals with and without Alzheimer's disease. They uncovered a number of p-taus — including the known biomarkers p-tau181 and p-tau217 — that could distinguish Alzheimer's disease brains from brains from unaffected individuals. But one, p-tau198, could not only differentiate brains from individuals with Alzheimer's disease from controls but could also distinguish samples from individuals with Alzheimer's disease from those with related diseases like progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. Further, p-tau198 could differentiate samples from individuals with mild cognitive impairment and cognitively normal brains. "Our work provides a new avenue for developing diagnosis and differentiation tools for AD and related tauopathies," the researchers wrote.