Monday, July 25, 2011

Best Post of February 2011 -- Finally, an alternative to 14-3-3 protein in the diagnosis of CJD!

The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from February 2, 2011:


prion protein
Researchers report in an article in Nature Medicine that a new cerebrospinal fluid test, known as real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC) assay, appears to be more specific than the problematic 14-3-3 test, which not infrequently gives false-positive results. ('Quaking-induced' refers to in vitro shaking, which helps to accelerate the reaction.) Not only that: it looks as though RT-QUIC may work on serum samples too, opening up the possibility of much earlier diagnosis and more widespread screening of donated blood. This development could truly revolutionize the pre-mortem diagnosis of prion disease! (Thanks to Dr. Doug Shevlin for calling my attention to this article.)

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