• Open Access

Alzheimer's disease beyond the genomic era: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabolomics


  • Guest Editor: B. O. Popescu

*Correspondence to: David POZO,
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
The University of Seville Medical School,
Sanchez Pizjuan Avenue, 41009,
Sevilla, Spain.
Tel.: +34–95-455 9852;
Fax: +34–95-490 7048;
E-mail: dpozo@us.es


  • • Introduction
  • • Rationale for metabolomics in Alzheimer's disease
  • • Metabolomics of Alzheimer's disease
    • - Studies in animal models of AD
    • - Human studies
  • • Methodology: NMR metabolomics at work
  • • Conclusions


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex disease, with no definitive biomarkers available that allow clinical diagnosis; this represents a major problem for the advance of efficient drug discovery programs. A successful approach towards the understanding and treatment of AD should take into consideration this complex nature. In this sense, metabolic networks are subject to severe stoichiometric restrictions. Metabolomics amplifies changes both in the proteome and the genome, and represents a more accurate approximation to the phenotype of an organism in health and disease. In this article, we will examine the current rationale for metabolomics in AD, its basic methodology and the available data in animal models and human studies. The discussed topics will highlight the importance of being able to use the metabolomic information in order to understand disease mechanisms from a systems biology perspective as a non-invasive approach to diagnose and grade AD. This could allow the assessment of new therapies during clinical trials, the identification of patients at risk to develop adverse effects during treatment and the final implementation of new tools towards a more personalized medicine.