Blood test can detect rare forms of dementia, neurological diseases: Study

New Delhi, Jun 18 (IANS): Scientists on Tuesday said they have devised a new method to detect rare forms of dementia as well as other neurological diseases through blood tests.

The blood markers can spot frontotemporal dementia (FTD) as well as neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), said the team from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE).

FTD, ALS and PSP form a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases with overlapping symptoms characterised by dementia, behavioural symptoms, paralysis and muscle wasting, movement impairment and other serious impairments.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, are based on the measurement of certain proteins in the blood, which serve as biomarkers.

The study also involved the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and other research institutions in Germany and Spain.

“As yet, there is no cure for any of these diseases. And, with current methods, it is not possible to reach a conclusive diagnosis of the molecular pathology of these diseases during a patient’s lifetime, since brain tissue must be examined,” explained Professor Anja Schneider, a research group leader at DZNE.

The researchers showed that PSP, behavioural variant of FTD and the vast majority of ALS cases with the exception of a particular mutation can be recognised by blood testing and this also applies to their underlying pathology.

“Our study is the first to find pathology-specific biomarkers. Initially, application is likely to be in research and therapy development. But in the long term, I consider it realistic that these biomarkers will also be used for diagnosis in medical routine,” said Schneider, who is also affiliated with the University of Bonn.

The results were based on data and blood samples from study collectives in Germany and Spain with a total of 991 adults.



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Title: Blood test can detect rare forms of dementia, neurological diseases: Study

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