How Can Biomarkers Help Diagnose Vascular Dementia?


Vascular dementia can be difficult to diagnose due to its gradual onset and progression. However, there are biomarkers that may help identify the disease in its early stages. In this article, we will explore these biomarkers and their potential for use in diagnosing vascular dementia.

Biomarkers are biological markers associated with certain diseases or medical conditions that can be identified through medical tests. They indicate either the presence or progression of a disease, and can be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatments as well. In terms of vascular dementia, biomarkers have been identified as potentially useful in its diagnosis due to specific nervous system changes that occur in those suffering from it.

Biomarkers are molecules and substances that can be detected in bodily fluids or tissues, such as blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, or brain imaging scans. These markers can indicate the presence of vascular dementia by identifying specific changes in the brain related to blood vessel damage and reduced blood flow to certain areas. Some biomarkers used for vascular dementia include S100B protein, which indicates inflammation in the nervous system, and beta-amyloid protein levels found in spinal fluid – a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease. By using these biomarkers, doctors may be able to diagnose and treat vascular dementia earlier than relying on symptoms alone. Further research is needed to determine the accuracy, efficacy, and reliability of biomarker tests for diagnosing this condition.

Placental growth factor as an effective biomarker for vascular dementia

Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia are a growing concern, and current biomarkers for early detection and diagnosis are limited in accuracy. To address this issue, a multi-site observational cohort study was conducted within the MarkVCID Consortium to evaluate the diagnostic potential of plasma placental growth factor (PlGF) as a biomarker. The study included 335 subjects who underwent clinical evaluation, cognitive testing, MRI scans, and blood sampling as defined by Consortium protocols. Results showed that increased levels of PlGF were associated with higher Fazekas scores and functional cognitive impairment measured by the Clinical Dementia Rating scale. Plasma PlGF also demonstrated significant discrimination abilities for individuals with white matter injuries and cognitive impairments compared to those without. These findings suggest that standardized measurements of plasma PlGF could serve as a reliable diagnostic biomarker for cognitive impairment related to vascular contributions. Source: