The German Competence Net Dementias: Standard operating procedures for the neurochemical dementia diagnostics

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Aging of population results in an increasing number of patients with dementia. Therefore, recently a BMBF-supported project, Competence Net Dementia, was launched to reveal diagnostic, therapeutic, and epidemiologic aspects of demential disorders. In this project, our task was to establish and maintain human body fluids (HBF) bank to collect cerebrospinal fluid, plasma, serum, and full blood of patients enrolled into the study. As the pre-analytical sample handling is a prerequisite of all studies aiming at finding novel disease biomarkers, standard operating procedures (SOPs) were launched by our group to allow standardized collection, storage, and shipment of the samples among all 14 University centers involved in HBF collection. Currently, to our best knowledge the CND HBF bank represents one of the largest prospectively collected set of the samples from subjects with mild cognitive impairment and early dementias. With the samples collected in the HBF bank, recently introduced analytical technologies (like e.g. surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF MS), differential gel electrophoresis (DIGE™), and multiplexing) can be promptly tested with regard to their potential usefulness in neurochemical dementia diagnostics.

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