26 April 2019

Without spinal puncture

A new study by Swedish scientists has confirmed that with the help of a blood test, damage to brain neurons can be detected.

Recently, measurement methods have emerged that are sensitive to protein markers in the blood that indicate brain damage and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. One of these signaling substances is the light subunit of the neurofilament protein (NFL)

Standard methods for determining nerve cell damage include lumbar puncture or MRI examination of the brain. It is expensive, long and time-consuming. Measuring NFL in the blood is cheaper and easier for the patient. When nerve cells of the brain are damaged, NFL enters the cerebrospinal fluid and from there into the blood.

The new study focuses on sporadic Alzheimer's disease, as it is the most common form of the disease. The researchers analyzed blood samples taken over several years from 1,583 people, including patients with Alzheimer's disease at various stages and a control group of healthy people. Alzheimer's disease is quite difficult to diagnose. It involves deterioration of cognitive and physical functions along with atrophy and death of brain cells. Currently, there are no drugs that could reduce damage to brain neurons. Existing medications mitigate cognitive disorders, but do not slow down the development of the disease.

Measuring the concentration of NFL in the blood helps to understand whether the selected methods of treatment work and to choose the optimal dose of drugs.

In the future, the researchers plan to make this method available as a clinical procedure in the near future.

Article by Mattsson et al. Association Between Longitudinal Plasma Neurofilament Light and Neurodegeneration in Patients With Alzheimer's Disease published in the journal JAMA Network

Elena Panasyuk, portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru / based on Lund University: More evidence that blood tests can detect the risk of Alzheimer's

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