More Research Supports New Single-Cell Blood Test.
Scientists from the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) have developed a new single-cell blood test to suggest biomarkers for diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS) a painful autoimmune disease.
MS is a debilitating autoimmune disease which invades the nervous system and results in progressive paralysis progressive neurological damage weakness vision loss and ultimately death. Current treatments for MS include the use of anti-inflammatory medicines such as methotrexate and targeted treatment with immunosuppressive drugs such as pembrolizumab and erythromycin. However previous tests with a single-cell (scaffold) blood test have yielded inconclusive results and the use of genetically-altered blood cells to monitor disease progression such as brain inflammation has raised ethical concerns.
The TBSI team developed a new single-cell assay to help resolve issues with current scaffold celltissue assays in order to identify all molecules (peptides) in our blood and test them in multiple sclerosis (MS). The assay clusters blood cells by their genome colour and other characteristic features (chromosomal DNA and chromatin accessibility) and scores the cells up in a functional way.
The assay is based on a system that integrates multiple clinical biomarkers into one profile comprised of lab-verified relationships such as the presence of chronic inflammation (a biomarker indicator) age (a signifier indicator) severity of the disease (an indicator of clinical activity) autoimmune status (an indicator of disease activity against healthy cells) etc. The assay was tested on three groups of six healthy volunteers (identified as SCs) which were designed to represent a touchpoint group of responders to current testing (scaffoldtissue expression) non-responders (die-dates) and a control group (no test indicated either AC or DC) with a similar IQ (exposure to visual testa) central nervous system (ChNS) and cognitive control groups (e-memory and cognitive control groups). The researchers report that the single-cell assay did not show any significant changes in histological cognitive or excitability of human or mouse TBSI-selected target cells as were seen in previous studies. However after validation on a larger group of subjects they saw a significant difference in the expression of key biomarkers of MS (microglia astrocytes oligodendrocytes) as well as in other markers of fatigue inflammation and cognitive dysfunctions of MS.
Recognising how the identification of the new assay will be valuable for medical applications they have described it in a paper published today in the journal Autoimmunity Research Therapy.