Researchers at the Sweden’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden and the Medical University of Warsaw, Poland have identified three proteins that are potential ALS biomarkers. In one of the most extensive plasma profiling studies in ALS conducted to date, samples from 367 Polish ALS patients and 101 controls were analyzed with antibodies targeting 278 proteins. Three proteins were expressed at higher levels in samples from ALS patients: neurofilament medium polypeptide (NEFM), solute carrier family 25 (SLC25A20), and regulator of G-protein signaling 18 (RGS18). Jointly, these proteins could provide an integrated snapshot of disease pathophysiology, with markers of neuronal structure, mitochondrial function/integrity, and cell signaling, respectively. The findings from this study were published in the Aug 1 Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology last year, and the researchers are now expanding the data set to includes samples from Sweden, Poland and Germany as well as cerebrospinal fluid samples from ALS patients. If validated in further studies, these candidate biomarkers could help advance ALS diagnosis as well as drug development.
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