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UK researchers develop Alzheimer’s point-of-care test

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Scientists from Swansea University and Japan have been awarded £1.3 million to develop a new point of care testing kit that can detect biomarkers for Alzheimer’s Disease.

The project follows Dr Sanjiv Sharma’s ground-breaking work in this area and in the development of the world’s first COVID-19 ‘smart patch’.

The smart patch consists of a collection of tiny microneedles created to break the skin barrier in a minimally invasive manner, similar to a nicotine patch.

This innovative design means they can be developed to identify and monitor specific biomarkers in the skin.

In the new project, Dr Sharma will lead a consortium of scientists from Swansea University, Imperial College London and The University of Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Dr Kaori Tsukakoshi will steer researchers from Japan with Tokyo University of Agriculture & Technology and National Institutes for Quantum Science & Technology.

Together, the researchers will create a Point-of-Care Testing Kit to facilitate early diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression in primary clinics or home settings.

Dr Sanjiv Sharma said:

“Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most prevalent form of dementia.

“It is presently untreatable and associated with a high social and familial burden, for which national health systems are not prepared, constituting a major challenge for sustainable development.

“The development of non-invasive markers of AD pathology in blood and skin samples is essential for screening the elderly population with memory complaints and could represent the first step to determine individuals at greatest risk of AD dementia.”

Dr Kaori Tsukakoshi of Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, added:

“In the last decade, blood biomarkers for AD diagnosis have been extensively studied and are finally being established.

“Our collaborative research focusing on the development of the Point-of-Care Testing device for the AD biomarkers would facilitate a new diagnostic process of AD, which will enable more patients with AD to be led to upcoming DMT for AD.”

The multidisciplinary research project co-funded by the Medical Research Council – UK Research and Innovation, and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

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