Serum Biomarker for Multiple Sclerosis and Neurodegeneration

Health Sciences Technologies for Licensing

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Technical Field

Therapeutic: Clinical Biomarkers

The Technology

Under the McDonald criteria, the current gold standard for diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, observation of brain lesions via MRI is needed to establish a definitive case of MS. An alternative mode of diagnosis is measurement of IgG levels in cerebrospinal fluid. Given that all of the approved treatments for MS merely reduce the progression of the disease but do not reverse the damage, it is critical that the diagnosis be made as early as possible, before severe functional deficits accumulate. Improved diagnostic tests are needed, especially blood-based tests.

Researchers in the Department of Neurology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have identified a serum biomarker that is associated with neurodegeneration, and especially with Multiple Sclerosis. This biomarker is the presence of specific autoreactive antibodies in the serum. Although the specific mechanism by which the autoreactive antibodies are generated is currently unclear, clinical studies with serum from 45 patients (8 controls, 37 with MS) have shown 100% sensitivity.

Western blot of antibody reactivity for MS versus control

(Figure) Reactivity by western blot of antibodies purified from serum of patients with MS or normal controls. All of the MS patients reacted with the probe, while there was no reactivity in the controls. TSP is a positive control.

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