Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein biomarkers accurately and quickly diagnose ALS, find Pittsburgh researchers

17.11.2003


Proteomic signature for ALS identified



Detection of protein abnormalities in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may allow physicians to more rapidly diagnose and better monitor drug efficacy in clinical trials for the disease, according to a novel study presented by a University of Pittsburgh researcher in Milan, Italy, today.

These findings may lead to the first test for early stage ALS, also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


The study, presented by Robert Bowser, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine at the 11th annual meeting of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations and 14th International Symposium on ALS/MND, identified ALS-specific biomarkers by protein profiling of cerebrospinal fluid from 25 ALS patients and 35 control subjects.

"There are no known diagnostic biomarkers for ALS and no sensitive methods to determine whether a particular drug is working in an ALS patient, nor any way to best test drug combinations for effectiveness," said Dr. Bowser, who is associate professor of pathology and director of the ALS Tissue Bank at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "A panel of biomarkers would not only be useful in a more rapid diagnosis of ALS, but also would be a valuable tool to evaluate drug efficacy in clinical trials. Protein profiling may also identify biochemical pathways leading to cell death and new therapeutic targets."

CSF samples were obtained from recently diagnosed ALS patients and control subjects who did not have ALS. Some control subjects had no neurologic symptoms, while others had neurological diseases (including four with peripheral neuropathies, one with myopathy, one with probable Alzheimer’s, one with demyelinating disorder, one with meningitis and one with autoimmune sensory motor axonopathy). CSF was used because it is in close contact with motor neurons and brain cells called glia affected by ALS and therefore may harbor high concentrations of diagnostic biomarkers.

Using mass spectrometry to characterize protein peaks that exhibit statistically significant alterations between ALS patients and the control groups, Dr. Bowser and his colleagues identified protein biomarkers that diagnose ALS with near 100 percent specificity and sensitivity.

"Not only will a CSF-based test lead to faster diagnosis, it will permit physicians to monitor the patient during drug treatment and determine whether any of the protein abnormalities that have occurred in the patient have been reduced due to drug treatment. By monitoring the biomarkers, we will be able to directly monitor drug efficacy. By using data from multiple clinical trials, we can determine the best drug combination to offer ALS patients," Dr. Bowser said.

"This research is at the forefront of ALS research. Our next step is to confirm our results with a larger patient population and further evaluate how the biomarker signature pattern changes during disease progression," he said.


The International Symposium on ALS/MND brings together leading international scientists, clinicians and health and social care professionals to present and debate key innovations in their respective fields. The symposium is planned as two parallel meetings, one on biomedical science and the other on research and advances in the care and management of people affected by ALS/MND.

Dr. Bowser’s research is in collaboration with investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard.

ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord. When cells die, voluntary muscle control and movement is lost. Those patients in the later stages of the disease are totally paralyzed even though their minds remain alert. The average life expectancy of a person with ALS is between two to five years from time of diagnosis.

Frank Raczkiewicz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.upmc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>