About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Doctors Helped by Color-Coded Markers In Diagnosing Neural Diseases

by Rukmani Krishna on August 17, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Font : A-A+

 Doctors Helped by Color-Coded Markers In Diagnosing Neural Diseases

Several different though related degenerative brain diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeld-Jacobs are marked by sticky plaques of proteins called amyloids. The symptoms of these disorders overlap and methods to diagnose and monitor them are not very advanced.

To solve this problem, scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have devised several new fluorescent probes that change color depending on what type of amyloid they encounter. Because amyloids accumulate in the eye as well as the brain, their discovery offers hope that one day neurodegenerative diseases could be differentially diagnosed with simple eye drops or ointment and an eye exam.

Advertisement

"The key trick here is that the small differences in the proteins that make up different forms of amyloid interact differently with our fluorescent probes to result in measurably different colors of the emitted light," said Jerry Yang who, along with Emmanuel Theodorakis, led the project. Both are professors of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego. Christina Sigurdson from the Department of Pathology at UC San Diego's School of Medicine was a key collaborator in this work.

The colors vary depending on the physical properties of pockets in the different amyloid proteins. The team demonstrated that one of their probes glows yellow when marking amyloid deposits associated with prion disease, and green when it binds to amyloids associated with Alzheimer's disease in tissue samples, for example. Their findings are published online this week by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Advertisement

Among the few available diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease are radioactive molecules that target amyloid, which can be detected in the brain using positron emission tomography or PET scans. But that test only says whether amyloid has formed in the brain without distinguishing between the various types.

"We think that our approach represents a significant step towards developing diagnostics to distinguish between different, but closely related diseases where symptoms and pathological characteristics show may similarities," Yang said. "Such capability might prove to be very important for deciding on effective treatment strategies for specific diseases."

Now that they have learned how physical properties of amyloid control the colors of their markers, they are expanding their catalog to create probes for discriminating between other forms of amyloid.

The technology has been licensed for commercial development of diagnostic tests for human neural disease.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
Test Your Knowledge on Lung Transplantation
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Different Medical Specialists and their Area of Medical Expertise 

Most Popular on Medindia

Indian Medical Journals Hearing Loss Calculator Blood - Sugar Chart Drug Side Effects Calculator A-Z Drug Brands in India How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Sanatogen Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Post-Nasal Drip
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use