The use of biomarkers in the elderly: current and future challenges.

Geriatric Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.
Biological Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 9.47). 09/2005; 58(4):272-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.05.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Biomarkers are hypothesized but not frequently used in research with the elderly because of a general paucity of supportive scientific data. However, there is an obvious need for greater diagnostic specificity and sensitivity across many diagnoses in the elderly, as well as good targets for therapeutic trials. The authors reviewed the available information in this field as part of a general review of geriatric research for the . Potential biomarkers with pathophysiologic significance have been studied in the field of Alzheimer disease research with some success, especially in the area of genetic markers (apolipoprotein E [APOE] epsilon4 allele), neuroimaging, and cerebrospinal fluid markers (beta-amyloid and tau). While some progress has been made in the search for adequate biomarkers in the elderly, in particular with Alzheimer disease, much more work is needed before these potential biomarkers can be reliably used in clinical practice.

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