Abstract by Juliana Morrison

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Juliana Morrison

Degree Level


Abstract Infomation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Steven Graves


Lipid Biomarkers to Diagnose Early-Stage Alzheimer\'s Disease


    Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is currently subjective and this inability to identify patients with early stage disease hampers drug development. As no definitive biochemical or radiologic tests exist, we seek to develop diagnostic blood tests specific to men and women. 

    In an earlier global lipidomic study, our group analyzed ~2500 different serum lipids and discovered 87 candidate biomarkers exhibiting statistically different abundances in AD cases versus controls. In a second independent study, 35 of the 87 biomarkers replicated. We recently performed a third confirmation study with 173 serum samples from UCSD. Following the same protocol as we had in the earlier two studies, we organically extracted lipids from the serum using a mixture of hexanes and isopropanol. We then directly infused the samples by ESI onto a quadrupole, time-of-flight mass spectrometer. 

    Although statistical analysis is still ongoing, 7 biomarkers have continued to replicate in this third study with a p-value smaller than 0.1. Further analysis of this data may lead to reliable diagnostic AD tests specific to men and women that could even indicate preclinical disease.