America Develops Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

Photo by Steven HWG on Unsplash

( – Resonant, a biotech company based in Utah, has been developing a new diagnostic test that could be used for neurodegenerative diseases. The company has so far claimed that its test has been 100 percent successful in identifying Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in people who proceeded to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease within the next five years.

The study included testing of fifty blood plasma samples. Out of the twenty five older control individuals, there were thirteen patients who already had an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, six patients with mild cognitive impairment who did not develop Alzheimer’s, and six who did.

The findings were first published on October 31, in Frontiers in Neurology.

The blood test is used for the detection of DNA that is released from the neurons in the brain or nerve cells after they die. Chad Pollard, the lead researcher who is a Brigham Young University research assistant noted that to an extent all the cells release DNA fragments. These are called cell-free DNA. As he pointed out, in normal conditions these fragments cannot be detected in blood circulation, however, in the cases of neurodegeneration, the number of these fragments and cells increases drastically which is what allows them to be detected.

Pollard, who is co-founder of Resonant, argues that the presence of cfDNA is what works as an indicator of neurodegeneration. The researchers are now looking to see whether this technology can be used for the detection of other diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease.

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