NYC Healthcare News



Scientists discover new method for early diagnosis, treatment of plaque-related diseases

February 13, 2016

The adaptive immune system is thought to be a rich source of protein biomarkers, but diagnostically useful antibodies remain undiscovered for a large number of diseases, Dr. German said. This is, in part, because the antigens that trigger an immune response in many diseases are unknown. The technology behind this discovery is essentially an immune-system reader, which is designed to pick out antibodies without knowing in advance which ones to look for.

The researchers used a combination library of several thousand peptoids to screen serum samples from mice with multiple sclerosis-like symptoms as well as from healthy control mice. The particular peptoids that retained more antibodies from the blood samples of the diseased animals were identified as potential agents for capturing diagnostically useful molecules.

The investigators then examined serum samples from six AD patients, six healthy patients and six patients with Parkinson's. Three peptoids were identified that captured six times the IgG antibody levels in all of the Alzheimer's patients when compared to the control group or to the Parkinson's patients. Two of the peptoids were found to bind the same IgG antibody, while the third was shown to bind to different antibodies - meaning there are at least two candidate biomarkers for AD. Using an additional set of 16 normal control subjects and 10 subjects at the very early state of AD, the three candidate biomarkers identified AD with 90 percent accuracy.

"The results of this study, though preliminary, show great potential for becoming a landmark," said Dr. German.

Source UT Southwestern Medical Center