Biomarkers have become an important tool for the early recognition and prognostication of acute kidney injury. In the last few years, several biomarkers have emerged that have shown promising results in large-scale clinical studies.
In patients with autonomic failure, the combination of elevated neurofilament light and alpha-synuclein oligomers in the cerebrospinal fluid can distinguish between multiple system atrophy and Parkinson’s disease/dementia with Lewy bodies. Early diagnosis is critical for the development of treatment trials.
Advancements in the area of personalized medicine and understanding how one’s genetics affect health outcomes is an evolving science. The addition of pharmacogenetic testing to the armamentarium of primary care providers presents an opportunity to improve patient care.
Dementia is a common and growing problem that is associated with significant caregiver burden and immense cost. A growing focus on disease prevention and management of risk factors in mid-life is vital to attempt to mitigate the daunting impact of this illness on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system as a whole.
In a population-based longitudinal study of older individuals without dementia, the inclusion of imaging biomarkers for amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration modestly improved the ability to predict memory decline compared to a model that only used clinical data and APOE genotype.
In a study cohort from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, cerebrospinal fluid levels of cholecystokinin were associated with better outcomes that may reflect compensatory protection as Alzheimer’s disease pathology progresses. However, because of significant study limitations, these findings need to be validated in additional studies.
In a prospective cohort study of pediatric patients, aged 7 to 21 years, diagnosed with concussion, salivary microRNAs were found to be a potential biomarker for predicting prolonged concussion symptoms.
Currently, there are no reliable and readily available biomarkers to assist in determining prognosis for neurological recovery after cardiac arrest, but serum tau measurements hold promise for the future.
The ongoing search for reliable biomarkers of traumatic brain injury repeatedly has demonstrated the reliability of using plasma phosphor-tau levels to help distinguish injury from normal, and severe injury from mild injury.