Abstract by Juliana Morrison

Personal Infomation

Presenter's Name

Juliana Morrison



Degree Level




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Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor

Steven Graves


Using Gender-Specific Lipid Biomarkers to Diagnose Very 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. We will use a global lipidomic approach to identify gender-specific serum lipid biomarkers, especially those that diagnose very early AD.

    Previously, we organically extracted lipids from the serum of cases and controls before infusing the samples by ESI onto a quadrupole, time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Of the ~2500 different lipids analyzed, 87 biomarkers exhibited statistically different abundances in cases and controls. In a second study, 35 biomarkers replicated. As abundance of some markers varied with AD stage, extrapolation of their levels could indicate preclinical disease. Abundance of some markers also varied with the subject’s gender. We therefore consider that the cause and course of AD may differ in men and women.

    We will now do a third, larger study to confirm and expand the utility of gender-specific lipid markers to allow for accurate early AD diagnosis.