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Blood-based near-infrared spectroscopy for the rapid low-cost detection of Alzheimer’s disease

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Maria Paraskevaidi
  • Camilo Morais
  • Daniel Freitas
  • Kassio Lima
  • David Mann
  • David Allsop
  • Pierre Martin-Hirsch
  • Francis L. Martin
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>21/12/2018
Issue number24
Number of pages6
Pages (from-to)5959-5964
Publication statusPublished
Early online date15/08/18
Original languageEnglish


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is currently under-diagnosed and is predicted to affect a great number of people in the future, due to the unrestrained aging of the population. An accurate diagnosis of AD at an early stage, prior to (severe) symptomatology, is of crucial importance as it would allow the subscription of effective palliative care and/or enrolment into specific clinical trials. Today, new analytical methods and research initiatives are being developed for the on-time diagnosis of this devastating disorder. During the last decade, spectroscopic techniques have shown great promise in the robust diagnosis of various pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. In the current study, blood plasma samples were analysed with near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a minimally-invasive method to distinguish patients with AD (n = 111) from non-demented volunteers (n = 173). After applying multivariate classification models (principal component analysis with quadratic discriminant analysis – PCA-QDA), AD individuals were correctly identified with 92.8% accuracy, 87.5% sensitivity and 96.1% specificity. Our results show the potential of NIR spectroscopy as a simple and cost-effective diagnostic tool for AD. Robust and early diagnosis may be a first step towards tackling this disease by allowing timely intervention.

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© Royal Society of Chemistry 2018