Alzheimer’s disease is becoming an increasing problem in our aging society. According to our knowledge, so far, no effective pharmacotherapy to cure the cause of the disease has been developed. Therefore, early diagnosis is needed, which will result in implementation of a drug therapy aimed at decreasing and/or inhibiting disease development. Mass spectrometry techniques (MS) have a wide range of applications in proteomics and the search for biomarkers of neurodegenerative disorders, opening new possibilities in diagnostics. Identification of proteins in body fluids (like cerebrospinal fluid or blood) is possible due to MS spectra analysis. The detected changes in protein concentrations are connected with pathological states in an organism and, therefore, can be regarded as biomarkers. Developing procedures for proteome analysis might result in fast diagnosis, as well as creating better suited pharmaceuticals. This paper reviews the search of biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid and blood. Later on, the use of matrix-assisted-laser-desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) in proteomics, focusing on blood-related biomarkers, is discussed. The aim of the work is also to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of MALDI-TOF-based analyses.
©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston