In this episode, Ayesha discussed a presentation about a study on the impacts of COVID-19 on cognitive health presented at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021. The study, conducted at New York University Langone Health, found that in cognitively normal COVID-19 patients that experienced the neurological symptom of confusion due to toxic-metabolic encephalopathy (TME), levels of serum biomarkers associated with neuroinflammation, neuronal injury and Alzheimer’s disease (such as phosphorylated Tau 181 and neurofilament light protein) were higher than in patients that did not have TME. The strong correlation of these serum biomarkers with the presence of neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients suggest that COVID-19 patients could experience an acceleration of AD/ADRD symptoms and pathology.
Ayesha also discussed another story about serum biomarkers for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Immunovia, a Swedish biotech firm, has developed a nine-panel biomarker blood test that can be used for the detection of pancreatic in early stages. The company’s American subsidiary, located in Massachusetts, received approval for the test early this month and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has already begun using it to test patients for the deadly cancer. The test evaluates a combination of immunoregulatory and tumor biomarkers. Early detection of pancreatic cancer is a significant unmet clinical need because the cancer is typically diagnosed in late stages when treatment options are limited and the disease is difficult to treat.
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