Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

A plasma protein classifier for predicting amyloid burden for preclinical Alzheimer’s disease

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Science Advances  06 Feb 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 2, eaau7220
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7220


A blood-based assessment of preclinical disease would have huge potential in the enrichment of participants for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) therapeutic trials. In this study, cognitively unimpaired individuals from the AIBL and KARVIAH cohorts were defined as Aβ negative or Aβ positive by positron emission tomography. Nontargeted proteomic analysis that incorporated peptide fractionation and high-resolution mass spectrometry quantified relative protein abundances in plasma samples from all participants. A protein classifier model was trained to predict Aβ-positive participants using feature selection and machine learning in AIBL and independently assessed in KARVIAH. A 12-feature model for predicting Aβ-positive participants was established and demonstrated high accuracy (testing area under the receiver operator characteristic curve = 0.891, sensitivity = 0.78, and specificity = 0.77). This extensive plasma proteomic study has unbiasedly highlighted putative and novel candidates for AD pathology that should be further validated with automated methodologies.

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