Diagnosing Alzheimer’s from cheek swab

30th March 2017
Posted By : Enaie Azambuja

3D Signatures have developed the TeloView system, a software platform that can analyse telomere patterns in cells to diagnose disease. The company recently announced the results of a clinical study, due for publication in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, in which the software could reportedly identify Alzheimer’s disease and predict if the disease was mild, moderate, or severe, based on analysing a cheek swab sample from patients.

Telomeres are structures that protect the end of our chromosomes. 3D Signatures have researched the 3D arrangement of telomeres in healthy and diseased cells, with a view to developing diagnostic technologies. They have investigated telomere arrangements in a variety of cancers and in Alzheimer’s disease.

The study involved taking cheek swabs from 44 healthy volunteers and 44 patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The technology could distinguish between the healthy and Alzheimer’s samples and classify the disease severity of the of those with the affliction. A cheek swab is a non-invasive method to obtain a diagnosis. This is important, as currently Alzheimer’s disease can be difficult to diagnose specifically.

3D Signatures co-founder Dr. Sabine Mai, made the following statement, “Current diagnostic methods are not highly specific. In addition, Alzheimer’s disease is only confirmed postmortem pathologically. There is a significant need for an accurate, non-invasive biomarker that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and indicate disease progression, and we believe TeloView has the potential to answer that important call.”

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