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The IN-BIND initiative is being driven against the backdrop of the Joint Programming on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND programme which calls for ‘Optimisation of biomarkers and harmonisation of their use between centres’and the BIOMARKAPD research project. BIOMARKAPD Fact sheet (PDF)

The aim of IN-BIND is to establish a research infrastructure in Ireland to develop basic and clinical research in biomarkers in neurodegenerative disorders by creating a functional network for clinical and laboratory based scientists working in this area. The advantage of this network is that it has the potential to link the majority of researchers in the field of neurodegeneration (ND) in Ireland across a common function and purpose. The network, in the first instance, has brought the key clinical and basic researchers in this area in Ireland together to develop standard operating procedures for the collection, storage and use of blood and CSF biomarkers for a range of neurodegenerative disorders.

Valid and reliable biomarkers that reflect the pathophysiological changes in ND are essential for the earlier diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, and as prognostic markers of disease course and indicators of responsiveness to treatment. Scientific and clinical progress in the field of biomarkers in ND face a number of challenges including the clinical and genetic heterogeneity of patients and lack of standardisation in sampling, storing and measurement across sites and centres. Ireland has an advantage in terms of its genetic homogeneity and this could be a useful factor in the development of new biomarkers for ND.

CSF biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) have come closest to being used clinically and some centres in Europe and the UK are currently using CSF Amyloid beta (Aβ) and phosphorylated tau (P-Tau) levels as an adjunct to the clinical diagnosis of early onset or mild cognitive impairment cases. Draft diagnostic criteria for AD have been proposed that include both topographic (MRI and PET) and pathophysiological biomarkers (Aβ & P-Tau) as supportive features. However, the use of CSF markers is still not standard in care in Ireland and measurement of CSF Aβ & P-Tau is not being carried out routinely at any of the clinical and research centres to aid diagnosis at the present time. IN-BIND is supporting the roll out of a standardised ADNI-proofed MRI scanning protocol in clinical settings nationwide. In addition, it is also committed to the development of a certified and validated AD biomarker assay which will be available to clinicians in the near future.

Last updated 15 January 2014 (Email).