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ARUK 2023 | Access to Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic biomarkers in clinical routine

Michael Schöll, PhD, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, comments on current diagnostic methods for Alzheimer’s disease and the need for scalable, reliable diagnostic biomarkers applicable to primary care settings. In Sweden, where Prof. Schöll is based, patients rarely have access to specialized care. Most cases of dementia are diagnosed by a GP on the basis of clinical assessments and cognitive testing, with blood sampling and CT imaging used to rule out non-neurodegenerative causes of cognitive impairment. A small proportion, the more ambiguous cases, are referred to a memory clinic where more in depth testing with established biomarkers is available. In the UK, a formal diagnosis is usually made in a memory clinic after GP referral. However, variation in referral criteria, financial and workload pressures in primary care, and other barriers to referral means many patients do not receive a formal diagnosis. Prof. Schöll comments on the need for an improved diagnostic workflow that utilizes accessible biomarkers to support primary care diagnosis. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) Conference 2023 in Aberdeen, UK.

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Michael Schöll reports the following disclosures: scientific advisory boards for Roche, NovoNordisk and Servier.