Searching exhaled breaths for the chemical signs of multiple sclerosis

  • October 03, 2019

The goal is to produce a rapid, inexpensive and simple-to-perform diagnostic tool that could help physicians identify the disease, track a patient’s progression and monitor responses to treatment.  The researchers’ preliminary results have highlighted potential signals related to MS, which researchers believe may be linked to changes in the gut microbiome.  They are now planning a larger longitudinal study, according to the MS Society of the U.K.  “There are over 100,000 people with MS in the U.K. (England) and we often hear that the path to diagnosis is an incredibly stressful time,” Susan Kohlhaas, the MS Society’s Director of Research said in a statement.

“The techniques used for diagnosis are invasive, expensive and often laborious, so this exciting development would address a major unmet need,” Kohlhaas added.  “Having a lumbar puncture and even an MRI scan can be an uncomfortable and unsettling experience, which we know people with MS are keen to change.”

According to previous research, one (1) of the underlying theories behind a breath-based biomarker is linked to the role of oxidative stress on the central nervous systems of people with MS — which is seen as a contributor to the damage of myelin sheaths surrounding individual nerves.  Due to the high lipid content of neural tissue, including polyunsaturated fatty acids, the oxidative stress can generate a range of measurable reactive compounds and aldehydes, according to a paper published in ACS Chemical Neuroscience.

REFERENCE:  Fierce BioTech; 08 JUL 2019; Conor Hale

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