U of M researchers develop technique for rapid detection of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Chronic Wasting Disease

May 2, 2023

A close up of viral cells

Photo credit: Sang-Hyun Oh Research Group, University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Twin Cities researchers have developed a groundbreaking new diagnostic technique that will allow for faster and more accurate detection of neurodegenerative diseases. The method will likely open a door for earlier treatment and mitigation of various diseases that affect humans, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and similar diseases that affect animals, such as chronic wasting disease (CWD).

Having a quicker and highly accurate detection method is particularly important for understanding and controlling transmission of chronic wasting disease, which is spreading in deer across North America, Scandinavia, and South Korea. The researchers believe that Nano-QuIC could eventually prove useful for detecting protein-misfolding diseases in humans, specifically Parkinson's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Alzheimer's, and ALS.

“Testing for these neurodegenerative diseases in both animals and humans has been a major challenge to our society,” said Peter Larsen of CVM, senior co-author of the paper along with Sang-Hyun Oh of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “What we’re seeing now is this really exciting time when new, next generation diagnostic tests are emerging for these diseases. The impact that our research has is that it’s greatly improving upon those next generation tests, it’s making them more sensitive, and it’s making them more accessible.”

Their new study is published in Nano Letters, a premier journal in the field of nanotechnology published by the American Chemical Society. Read more here

Categories: Research