Identifying people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s would allow interventions to be carried out that would help prevent or delay the appearance of this neurodegenerative disease of which around 40,000 new cases are diagnosed each year in Spain, according to the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), but For this, it is essential to improve diagnostic techniques.
From now on, an innovative system of early detection of Alzheimer disease developed by researchers from the Health Research Institute of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital and the Biomedical Technology Center of the Polytechnic University of Madrid could respond to this public health need.
Researchers have conducted a study in which they have developed a new biosensing system and procedure to specifically measure the total protein (T-Tau) in blood serumand have created a low-cost system based on diagnostic kits to carry out this procedure.
The finding “opens the door to achieving lower detection limits than those we have achieved and being able to discover other markers to diagnose the disease before symptoms appear”
The work has been carried out thanks to the use of specific nanoparticles against the protein of interest “achieving for the first time a relevant diagnostic alternative to detect the Tau protein at demanding concentrations with low-cost optical biosensors,” he explained. Miguel Holgado Bolañosresearcher at the Health Research Institute of the San Carlos Clinical Hospital and professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
A painless and cheap test to diagnose Alzheimer’s early
One of the biomarkers used to diagnose Alzheimer’s consists of studying the increase in Total Tau protein in cerebrospinal fluid. However, to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid, a lumbar puncture must be performed, which is an invasive, complex, expensive and painful biological test, which does not allow for easy detection or monitoring of the disease and, as Miguel Holgado indicates, , “the problem we face when working with these samples is the low concentration of the marker proteins, which makes them difficult to detect and is only available to high-cost techniques.”
To solve this problem, the team of researchers, coordinated by researcher Ana María Martín Murillo from the Optics, Photonics and Biophotonics research group of the Center for Biomedical Technology directed by Professor Holgado, has developed a low cost system based on diagnostic kits capable of detecting these very low levels established in the scientific literature for detection in serum.
This discovery “opens the door to achieving lower detection limits than those we have achieved in this study, doing so for other relevant biomarkers jointly and being able to discover other new markers to diagnose the disease.” before symptoms appear”Holgado concludes.
Fuente: San Carlos Clinical Hospital