This is (a diagnostic) spinal tap
A team led by KineMed Inc. researchers has shown that measuring the kinetics of CNS proteins in cerebrospinal fluid could help diagnose Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.1 The company is now exploring the utility of the approach to diagnose multiple neurodegenerative diseases and monitor treatment responses.
Neurons in the brain synthesize and secrete a range of proteins that move along the microtubule structures of axons to the nerve endings-a process known as axonal transport. There, the proteins enter extracellular fluids, including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Multiple studies have suggested links between disruptions in axonal transport and PD, ALS, Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Huntington's disease (HD).2-8 However, the molecular mechanisms underlying those disruptions are poorly understood, largely due to a lack of tools for studying axonal transport in vivo.
To build out the toolbox, the KineMed team turned to a method of deuterium (2H) labeling it had previously developed to investigate the effects of paclitaxel on microtubule structures in cancer cells.9 In that study, the team administered heavy water (2H2O) to cells and animal models to measure the incorporation of deuterium into tubulin dimers and polymers and thus track