A way to detect fragments of broken brain cells that leak into the bloodstream may help doctors more quickly and precisely treat people with severe head injuries or brain diseases, say researchers at the University of Floridas McKnight Brain Institute.
UF scientists have discovered they can use an approach similar to one commonly used in HIV or pregnancy testing to find bits of axons - nerve fibers that help brain cells communicate - in the blood and spinal fluid of laboratory rats modeling human spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries.
The discovery could lead to tests for the clinic or battlefield to diagnose ailments with just a few drops of blood, bypassing cumbersome and expensive CT or MRI brain scanning equipment. The researchers report their findings in the current online edition of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications.
John Pastor | EurekAlert!
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