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Genetic Biomarker of LBD Identified

Diagnosing Lewy body disease can be difficult, since the symptoms (especially in the early stages) can vary from person to person. Additionally, LBD can be hard to distinguish from other kinds of dementia or neurological disease. The right diagnosis allows a person with LBD to get the right treatment. That is why the discovery of a genetic biomarker of LBD is important.

A biomarker is a biological indicator of the presence of a disease. However, a reliable biomarker for LBD has been elusive. Now, researchers from the Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Research Institute (IGTP) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have discovered a genetic biomarker. The biomarker occurs in 20% of LBD cases and differentiates them from people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The biomarker was detected by studying post-mortem brain samples. Those with LBD sometimes had an alteration in the expression of a particular brain enzyme. The researchers then determined the genetic changes responsible for the alteration. The test for the biomarker has been licensed to Grifols, a multinational pharmaceutical company. The test may sometimes allow for more accurate diagnosis of LBD and aid in future LBD research.

The press release is available.

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