Navigation Links
Protein test is first to predict rate of progression in Lou Gehrig’s disease
Date:11/19/2012

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. A novel test that measures proteins from nerve damage that are deposited in blood and spinal fluid reveals the rate of progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in patients, according to researchers from Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida, Emory University and the University of Florida.

Their study, which appears online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, suggests this test, if perfected, could help physicians and researchers identify those patients at most risk for rapid progression. These patients could then be offered new therapies now being developed or tested.

ALS also known as Lou Gehrig's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by deterioration of motor neurons (nerve cells) that control voluntary muscle movement. The rate of progression varies widely among patients, and survival from the date of diagnosis can be months to 10 years or more, says Kevin Boylan, M.D., medical director of the ALS Clinic at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

"In the care of our ALS patients there is a need for more reliable ways to determine how fast the disease is progressing," says Dr. Boylan, who is the study's lead investigator. "Many ALS researchers have been trying to develop a molecular biomarker test for nerve damage like this, and we are encouraged that this test shows such promise. Because blood samples are more readily collected than spinal fluid, we are especially interested in further evaluating this test in peripheral blood in comparison to spinal fluid."

There are no curative or even significantly beneficial therapies in clinics now for ALS treatment, but many are in development, Dr. Boylan says. A test like this could help identify those patients who are at risk for faster progression of weakness. With experimental treatments that primarily slow progression of ALS, detecting a treatment response in patients with faster progression may be easier to detect, says Dr. Boylan. Now, patients with varying rates of progression participate together in clinical studies, which can make analysis of a drug's benefit difficult, he says.

"If there were a way to identify people who are likely to have relatively faster progression, it should be possible to conduct therapeutic trials with smaller numbers of patients in less time than is required presently," Dr. Boylan says.

A longer-range goal is to develop tests of this kind to gauge how well a patient is responding to experimental therapies, he adds.

The test measures neurofilament heavy form in blood and spinal fluid. These are proteins that provide structure to motor neurons, and when these nerves are damaged by the disease, the proteins break down and float free in blood serum and in the spinal fluid. Earlier research in this area was conducted by Gerry Shaw, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the University of Florida, who is the study's senior investigator and the developer of the neurofilament assay used in the study.

The researchers measured neurofilament heavy form in blood and spinal fluid samples from patients at Mayo Clinic and at Emory University, and correlated levels of the protein with rate of progression. "We demonstrated a solid association between higher levels of this protein and a faster progression of muscle weakness," Dr. Boylan says. There was also evidence suggesting that ALS patients with higher protein levels may have shorter survival, he adds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kevin Punsky
punsky.kevin@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Warwick scientists uncover how checkpoint proteins bind chromosomes
2. Specific protein triggers changes in neurons in brain reward center linked to cocaine addiction
3. Unusual protein helps regulate key cell communication pathway
4. Protein prevents DNA damage in the developing brain and might serve as a tumor suppressor
5. RANK protein promotes the initiation, progression and metastasis of human breast cancer
6. Protein may represent a switch to turn off B cell lymphoma
7. Protein RAL associated with aggressive characteristics in prostate, bladder and skin cancers
8. Breast cancer clinical trial tests combo of heat shock protein inhibitor and hormonal therapy
9. Pivotal role for proteins -- from helping turn carbs into energy to causing devastating disease
10. New molecular structure offers first picture of a protein family vital to human health
11. Wayne State University researcher examines proteins role in diabetic retinopathy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... February 26, 2017 , ... Occupational pesticide exposure ... a specific LRRK2 mutation, according to a study released today at the 1st ... of a link between pesticides and incidence of sporadic PD through occupational exposure. ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... on tooth replacement options at his office, Antoine Dental Center. Currently, patients can ... $18,499. Some restrictions may apply, but patients can learn more about these offers ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... An in-depth computational analysis ... University of Pittsburgh points to eight genes that may explain why susceptibility to one ... the results of a study published today in the journal npj Schizophrenia. , ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 24, 2017 , ... In the ... to be a top priority because it’s not if you will be attacked, but ... especially when it comes to digital health care. , Improvements in auditing and monitoring ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The narrative in “ Signal 8: An Australian Paramedic’s ... of his paramedic experiences. Schanssema describes the tragedies he saw, as well as his ... them. , Schanssema, initially unsure of the career path he wanted to take, found ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... report to their offering. ... The Global Wireless Health Market is poised to ... to reach approximately $330.5 billion by 2025. This industry ... segments on global as well as regional levels presented in the ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Empty Capsules Market is poised to grow ... approximately $2.9 billion by 2025. This industry report analyzes ... as well as regional levels presented in the research scope. The study ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Feb 24, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... - 2016" report to their offering. ... The latest research Dry eye Drugs Price Analysis and ... Dry eye market. The research answers the following questions: ... and their clinical attributes? How are they positioned in the Global Dry ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: