Blood Test May Help Detect Often-Missed Minor Strokes

Jan, 2021 - By SMI

Blood Test May Help Detect Often-Missed Minor Strokes

The new research aims to develop a novel blood test that can detect if someone is suffering from a minor stroke.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries nutrients and oxygen to the brain is either clogged by a clot or bursts. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, with around 800,000 deaths each year. A mild stroke is known as a transient ischemic attack, the physical symptoms of the mild stroke usually disappear within a few minutes. Now, the research team from Case Western Reserve University has discovered several blood markers that may help detect often-missed minor strokes.

The research aims to develop a novel blood test that can detect if someone is suffering from a minor stroke. About one-third of strokes are initially missed by doctors, and resource-intensive MRI or CT scan is the only way to detect the occurrence of stroke. Moreover, in 2018, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first blood test to detect the presence and severity of a traumatic brain injury. The new research was conducted to evaluate nearly every protein-coding gene to determine their ability to produce biomarkers related to neurological damage.

The researchers examined around 17,000 protein-coding genes, and revealed previously unexplained blood-based biomarkers that are related to neurological damage. Moreover, the team took blood samples from people suffering from neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke, and Alzheimer’s. The researchers found a protein named MT-3 that can identify ischemic stroke. Moreover, high levels of MT-3 were found to differentiate between stroke patients and controls with 70% sensitivity and 95% specificity. However, according to the team, more research will be required before clinical use. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.

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