The insanity The test uses magnets and detects unauthorized proteins called prions – and has been described as a potential "watershed". The technique also captures early stages of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Cow Cow's disease or CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). Early symptoms of Alzheimer The disease includes misplacing items, forgetting place and object names, and having trouble thinking of the right word.
As part of the test, tiny cords like magnets are injected into the body. They then adhere to diseased molecules – leaving healthy ones alone.
Co-author Michael Connolly, senior scientific engineer at Berkeley Lab, California, said, "It's like Velcro."
Marbles are expected to be used one day to administer drugs that destroy groups of proteins that kill neurons in the brain of dementia patients.
One of the reasons why drug tests have failed is that they are prescribed too late – once the devastating disorder occurs.
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In the tests, he collected blood prions from infected mice and hamsters in the preclinical stages – and also after symptom development.
This is a significant step for the first noninvasive human prion detection test, says the US team.
The only current method is an unpleasant procedure known as lumbar puncture. It involves threading a needle into the back to extract fluid around the spinal cord.
Prion diseases are a family of fatal brain diseases caused by the accumulation of double copies of a naturally occurring protein.
DO NOT MISS
But now there is finally an effective way to check for them – opening the door to a revolutionary sorting tool.
The small balls are made of peptides, artificial compounds designed to mimic proteins.
When they are added to a fluid such as blood or cerebrospinal fluid found in the brain and spinal cord, they attach to the prions, avoiding normal proteins. This makes them easily identifiable.
Dr. Connolly said: "The aggregate folded protein has several hooks – several binding sites – that attach to the cord, which is like the complementary leaf. But the correctly folded natural protein has only a single hook, so its binding affinity it's too big. Less. "
Prions are believed to be linked to Alzheimer's disease. Recent research has even suggested proteins called beta amyloid and tau, which cluster in patients' brains, are actually prions.
Lead author, Professor Ronald Zuckermann, who pioneered peptides in the Berkeley lab, explained: "Our peptide spheres have the ability to detect folded proteins that act as infectious agents.
"So it could have a significant impact on the realm of prion disease.
"But we also show that they can look for the large aggregate proteins that are the disease agents in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, among others."
He added: "Prion diseases are rare, but there are many folded protein-based diseases that affect millions of people, which are also poorly understood.
"And, like prion disease, we need a way to diagnose these slow-onset conditions in the years before the symptoms."
There are currently no effective treatments for prion diseases.
Simone Hornemann of Zurich University Hospital said: "In addition to detecting carriers of potentially asymptomatic diseases, peptide-sphere MPA can be optimized to screen blood and blood products cheaply and quickly, a feature that will be very important in preventing transmission. accidental in case of a new outbreak of prion disease.
"This trial can also be modified to test deer and elk for chronic loss disease (CWD), a prion disease that is considered a global epidemic in these animals."