Big data analysis powers the fight against Alzheimer’s

Dec. 1, 2022
New research helps explain the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and predicts its severity.

Alzheimer’s disease has always had its puzzles and contradictions. For Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) researcher Vladislav Petyuk, whose research on the progressive, age-related disease spans over a decade, some of the struggles have come from studies where “we can only connect the dots a pair at a time.”

Petyuk recently collaborated with a multi-institutional team in a study that examined a large Alzheimer’s disease cohort of over 1800 people. The researchers drew on previously collected blood samples and brain tissue, along with large-scale data analysis to search for central themes in early identification, prevention, and treatment of the disease.

The research findings published in Science Advances (November 2022), help explain the progression of Alzheimer-related dementia in each patient. Further, the findings outline a multilevel biological classification system that predicts disease severity and future neurological symptoms. “Assessment of a patient’s brain and blood proteins, and other biological molecules, reveal patterns that can then be targeted for tailored intervention,” said Petyuk.

PNNL release