The LOAD DNA Chip array will analyse established and newly characterised genetic and epigenetic biomarkers in whole blood (e.g.: PICALM, CLU)
The LOAD Protein chip will determine five protein expression biomarkers (Apolipoprotein E4, monoamine oxidase B, tropomyosin 1, glutathione S-transferase omega1), which had been characterised at the MUW, in platelets. These blood components are easily obtainable and show biochemical and pathological characteristics of neurons, such as APP processing and expression of the dopamine degrading enzyme Mao-B.
Currently, no device for standardised isolation of platelets is available. Therefore, this project plans to develop an easy-to-use column for platelet isolation of reproducible quality. Isolated platelets will then be analysed on the LOAD Protein chip.
Low blood levels of folate and vitamin B12, and elevated homocysteine levels are strongly associated with LOAD but also with the platelet biomarkers Mao-B and GSTO-1. LOAD-specific one-carbon cycle metabolites will be analysed to demonstrate their potential in supporting accurate LOAD diagnosis and the identification of potential therapeutic targets for each patient.