Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nasal test developed for to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Date:
August 7, 2014
Source:
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Summary:
A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study. CJD is a prion disease. These diseases originate when, for reasons not fully understood, normally harmless prion protein molecules become abnormal and gather in clusters. Prion diseases affect animals and people. Human prion diseases include variant, familial and sporadic CJD. The most common form, sporadic CJD, affects an estimated 1 in one million people annually worldwide.

The test developed by NIH and Italian scientists involves the insertion of a rigid fiber-optic rhinoscope into the patient’s nasal cavity. A sterile brush is then inserted alongside the scope to collect olfactory neurons by gently rolling along the mucosal surface.
Credit: NIAID

A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their Italian colleagues.

Up to now, a definitive CJD diagnosis requires testing brain tissue obtained after death or by biopsy in living patients. The study describing the less invasive nasal test appears in the Aug. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

CJD is a prion disease. These diseases originate when, for reasons not fully understood, normally harmless prion protein molecules become abnormal and gather in clusters. Prion diseases affect animals and people. Human prion diseases include variant, familial and sporadic CJD. The most common form, sporadic CJD, affects an estimated 1 in one million people annually worldwide. Other prion diseases include scrapie in sheep; chronic wasting disease in deer, elk and moose; and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in cattle. Scientists have associated the accumulation of these clusters with tissue damage that leaves sponge-like holes in the brain.

"This exciting advance, the culmination of decades of studies on prion diseases, markedly improves on available diagnostic tests for CJD that are less reliable, more difficult for patients to tolerate, and require more time to obtain results," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of NIH. "With additional validation, this test has potential for use in clinical and agricultural settings."

An easy-to-use diagnostic test would let doctors clearly differentiate prion diseases from other brain diseases, according to Byron Caughey, Ph.D., the lead NIAID scientist involved in the study. Although specific CJD treatments are not available, prospects for their development and effectiveness could be enhanced by early and accurate diagnoses. Further, a test that identifies people with various forms of prion diseases could help to prevent the spread of prion diseases among and between species. For instance, it is known that human prion diseases can be transmitted via medical procedures such as blood transfusions, transplants and the contamination of surgical instruments. People also have contracted variant CJD after exposure to BSE-infected cattle.

The NIAID study involved 31 nasal samples from patients with CJD and 43 nasal samples from patients who had other neurologic diseases or no neurologic disease at all. These samples were collected primarily by Gianluigi Zanusso, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Verona in Italy, who developed the technique of brushing the inside of the nose to collect olfactory neurons connected to the brain. Testing in Dr. Caughey's lab in Montana then correctly identified 30 of the 31 CJD patients (97 percent sensitivity) and correctly showed negative results for all 43 of the non-CJD patients (100 percent specificity). By comparison, tests using cerebral spinal fluid -- currently used to detect sporadic CJD -- were 77 percent sensitive and 100 percent specific, and the results took twice as long to obtain.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christina D. Orrϊ, Matilde Bongianni, Giovanni Tonoli, Sergio Ferrari, Andrew G. Hughson, Bradley R. Groveman, Michele Fiorini, Maurizio Pocchiari, Salvatore Monaco, Byron Caughey, Gianluigi Zanusso. A Test for Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Using Nasal Brushings. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 371 (6): 519 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1315200

Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Nasal test developed for to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807105545.htm>.
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (2014, August 7). Nasal test developed for to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807105545.htm
NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "Nasal test developed for to diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140807105545.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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