A blood test might be able to identify RRMS and PPMS forms of multiple sclerosis.
In the future, a blood test may make diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS) much easier, thanks to newly identified biomarker patterns that distinguish between MS patients and healthy people.
Australian researchers suggest that their test — if validated in future prospective studies — could also be used to predict the disease subtype from the outset, or potentially spot the transformation from relapsing to progressive disease earlier than current clinical tests.
This could be particularly important since the emergence of newer-generation treatments — which address axon and brain volume loss — may allow treatment choices that potentially slow disease progression, the research team said.
Their study, “Exosomal microRNA signatures in multiple sclerosis reflect disease status,” appeared in the journal Scientific Reports. It focused on analyzing the microRNA content of so-called exosomes — tiny packages that virtually all cells release as a means of rapid communication. Inflammatory diseases like MS involve a significant increase in exosome levels.
Exosomes — packed with RNA, DNA, and proteins — enter the bloodstream, and when they are released from cells within the brain, which allows researchers to study their content.
“Exosomes are released by brain cells circulating in the blood, so they offer an easily accessible way to monitor diseases of the brain,” Michael Buckland, head of the neuropathology department at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and the study’s senior author, said in a press release. “We are only now starting to wake up to their enormous potential as clinical tests.”
|Read Full Article: MS Diagnostic Blood Test May Be Able to Distinguish Between RRMS, PPMS, Researchers Say|