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Mayo Clinic Confirms Biomarker for FTD

April 26, 2022

Mayo Clinic Confirms Biomarker for FTD

A test of protein in the blood gets further support as a biomarker for patients diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a group of brain disorders with few treatment options.

ese disorders are characterized by changes in behavior, cognition, language, or movement. In a new paper published in Cell Reports Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers and members of the Advancing Research and Treatment in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration and Longitudinal Evaluation of Familial Frontotemporal Dementia Subjects studies, or ALLFTD Consortium, report that neurofilament light (NfL) is a useful biomarker for frontotemporal dementia. is biomarker may allow for quicker diagnosis and participation in early treatment clinical trials. e researchers set out to conduct a comprehensive investigation of plasma NfL across all frontotemporal dementia syndromes in a large cohort of approximately 1,000 participants. ey found plasma NfL levels were elevated in all types of frontotemporal dementia, and in people who had mutations but hadn’t shown symptoms yet. ey also found that in patients with frontotemporal dementia, higher levels of NfL were associated with grea ter disease severity. Additionally, they found increased levels of the protein just before people became symptomatic. Be cause it’s relevant across different types of frontotemporal dementia and at different stages of disease development, the researchers say plasma NfL will ultimately be useful in improving the design of clinical trials because it will facilitate the participation of patients earlier in their disease course. is will provide a means to gauge the therapeutic benefit of potential treatments being tested. e researchers say their findings could inform other areas of research on neurodegenerative diseases, with NfL being a biomarker for many of those diseases.
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