Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protein Biomarkers Accurately And Quickly Diagnose ALS, Find Pittsburgh Researchers

Date:
November 17, 2003
Source:
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Summary:
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.

MILAN, Italy, Nov. 17 – 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.

Related Articles


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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Protein Biomarkers Accurately And Quickly Diagnose ALS, Find Pittsburgh Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031117073850.htm>.
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. (2003, November 17). Protein Biomarkers Accurately And Quickly Diagnose ALS, Find Pittsburgh Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031117073850.htm
University Of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Protein Biomarkers Accurately And Quickly Diagnose ALS, Find Pittsburgh Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/11/031117073850.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins