Bio & Medicine

Innovative method for early identification of Parkinson’s disease and chronic wasting condition

A new diagnostic method has been developed by researchers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities that will make it possible to detect neurodegenerative diseases more quickly and with greater precision. Various diseases that affect humans, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and similar diseases that affect animals, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD), may be treated and mitigated earlier as a result of the method.

Nano Letters has published their latest study.

“Our goal is ultimately to expand the technology for a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases, with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s being the two main targets,” stated Sang-Hyun Oh, senior co-author of the paper and Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This paper mainly focuses on chronic wasting disease in deer.”

“Our vision is to foster super delicate, strong symptomatic methods for various neurodegenerative infections so we can distinguish biomarkers from the beginning, maybe permitting additional opportunity for the arrangement of remedial specialists that can dial back the sickness movement. We want to help millions of people afflicted by neurodegenerative diseases live better lives.”

“Although the primary targets of this paper are Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, our ultimate goal is to expand the technology for a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases,”

Sang-Hyun Oh, senior co-author of the paper.

The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the central nervous system is common to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, mad cow disease, and CWD, which mostly affects deer. In order to comprehend and make a diagnosis for these devastating diseases, it is essential to find these proteins that have been misfolded. Nonetheless, existing demonstrative techniques, similar to catalyst connected immunosorbent measure and immunohistochemistry, can be costly, tedious, and restricting concerning counter acting agent particularity.

Advanced protein-misfolding detection techniques, such as the NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories’ Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) assay, are significantly enhanced by the University of Minnesota researchers’ Nano-QuIC (Nanoparticle-enhanced Quaking-Induced Conversion) method.

Shaking a small amount of misfolded protein with a mixture of normal proteins in the RT-QuIC method starts a chain reaction that makes the proteins multiply and allows for the detection of these irregular proteins. The University of Minnesota team demonstrated that using deer tissue samples, adding 50-nanometer silica nanoparticles to RT-QuIC experiments significantly shortens detection times to just four hours and increases sensitivity by a factor of 10.

A common 14-hour discovery cycle implies that a lab professional can run just a single test for each ordinary working day. In any case, with a recognition season of under four hours, scientists can now run three or even four tests each day.

Understanding and controlling the spread of CWD, a disease that is affecting deer in North America, Scandinavia, and South Korea, require a rapid and highly accurate method of detection. The researchers are of the opinion that the application of Nano-QuIC to the detection of human diseases characterized by protein misfolding—specifically Parkinson’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Alzheimer’s, and ALS—may one day prove to be useful.

Peter Larsen, a senior co-author of the paper who is also an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, stated, “Testing for these neurodegenerative diseases in both animals and humans has been a major challenge to our society.” He was one of the authors of the paper.

“This really exciting time of new, next-generation diagnostic tests for these diseases is what we are seeing right now. Our research has a significant impact on the next generation of tests by making them more user-friendly, more sensitive, and more accessible.

More information: Peter R. Christenson et al, Nanoparticle-Enhanced RT-QuIC (Nano-QuIC) Diagnostic Assay for Misfolded Proteins, Nano Letters (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c01001

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