After 12 years of research, the first blood biomarker for multiple sclerosis (MS) has been discovered by an international team led by Macquarie University researchers Dr Edwin Lim and Professor Gilles Guillemin.
The biomarker blood test can discriminate between the three subtypes of the disease with 85-90 per cent accuracy and a clinical test could be available in as little as two years.
“This is a significant discovery because it will facilitate the ability to quickly and simply make a prognosis of the three types of MS and will allow clinicians to adapt their treatment for MS patients more accurately and rapidly,” explained Professor Gilles Guillemin, who oversaw the study.
MS is a debilitating disorder of the central nervous system that afflicts more than 23,000 Australians and 2.3 million people worldwide. Following the course of the disease has traditionally proved problematic and lengthy, requiring patients to undergo an array of expensive tests.
“The unique information that we will receive from the biomarker within an individual means that it could also be possible to develop biomarker-guided personalised treatment for each patient,” said Dr Lim, the lead researcher of the study.
Dr Lim is currently based at Macquarie University and was previously an MS Research Australia Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UNSW Sydney, where the research for this study began.
Dr Matthew Miles, CEO of MS Research Australia said: “we have been excited to be part of the translation of this initially fundamental research into a potential clinical test.”
Read more about this world-first discovery here. Story credit: Macquarie University newsroom.
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