A major obstacle to identifying effective and disease-modifying therapies for ALS is the long delay between initial onset of symptoms and diagnosis. The earlier the diagnosis, the earlier patients could receive therapeutic interventions to attenuate or potentially reverse neuronal damage. A new early diagnostic blood test for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major advance in that direction. In work published October 28 in Molecular Psychiatry online by Andrew Hill and colleagues from the University of Melbourne, Australia, microRNAs (miRNAs) from circulating exosomes in human serum were sequenced, and the sequences were compared between AD patients and controls. The team identified a 16 microRNA signature that together with other risk factors could detect AD with 91% accuracy. Similar approaches could be applicable to ALS, where miRNAs also play an important role (see Nov 2013 news story). Click here to read more about the exciting plans to further improve this diagnostic test.
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