Biomarkers Research Group

‘Biomarker’ is a commonly used term to mean a biological indicator of the presence of onset of a certain disorder. Biomarkers can be used for the early detection of disease, for prognosis, for monitoring therapeutic intervention such as drugs or lifestyle changes, or for understanding more about the underlying disease pathology.

The Biomarkers Translational Research Group is led by Alison Green and Tom Wishart. The role of the Biomarkers TRG is to facilitate the development and evaluation of biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis of dementia and for the monitoring the response to therapeutic intervention.

The CDP is in a unique position to undertake this research as it has a large number of scientists and clinicians with expertise in developing novel techniques for the detection of biomarkers.  It also has a large biobank of blood and CSF samples from studies such as PREVENT and EPAD from people in mid-life.

Specificity: tracking a biomarker over time in post-mortem tissue, CJD patients, and poeple with Alzheimer's disease

Data from Alison Green’s work showing biomarker specificity: tracking a biomarker over time in post-mortem tissue, CJD patients, and people with Alzheimer’s disease

Relevant Publications

Stoeck K, Zerr I, Green AJE et al.  Cerebrospinal fluid biomarker supported diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and rapid dementias – a longitudinal multicentre study over 10 years.  Brain 2012;135(10):3051-61

McGuire L,  Peden A, Orrú C,  Wilham J, Appleford N, Mallinson G, Andrews M, Head M, Caughey B, Will R, Knight R, Green A. Prion seeding activity in cerebrospinal fluid from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients using real-time QuIC analysis: a potential new clinical diagnostic test with high sensitivity and specificity. Ann Neurol 2012;72(2):278-85

Sanchez-Juan P, Green A, Ladogana A, Cuadrado-Corrales N, Sanchez-Valle R, Mitrova E et al. CSF tests in the differential diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  Neurology 2006;67(4):637-643.

Green AJE, Thompson EJ, Stewart GE, Zeidler M, McKenzie JM, MacLeod MA, Ironside JW, Will RG, Knight RSG. The use of CSF 14-3-3 and other brain-specific proteins in the diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.  J Neurol Neurosurg Psych 2001; 70:744-748


Relevant Grants

Multi-centre evaluation of improved RT-QuIC diagnostic assays for Creutzfeldt-Jakob and other human prion diseases.  Funded by Alliance Biosecure, France 2016-18, Total value: €330,000,

Optimisation, harmonisation and standardisation of the analysis of disease-specific associated prion protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by real-time QuIC (RT-QuIC) in the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD).  Funded by Joint Programming Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND), 2012-16, Total Value for UoE £229,541

Development of potential diagnostic biomarker in Parkinson’s disease.  Funded by the Michael J Fox Foundation, USA.  2015-2016.  Total value £69,849

Development of disease-specific diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body disease based on RT-QuIC analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.  Funded by Chief Scientists Office, Scotland. 2013-15  Total Value £281,208

Biomarker based diagnosis of rapid progressive dementias- optimisation of diagnostic protocols.  Joint Programming Neurodegenerative Disease (JPND), 2012-15, Total Value for UoE £103,924