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Iranian Researchers Diagnose Early Alzheimer’s Disease Using Nanotechnology

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Iranian researcher of University of Illinois and a researcher from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences have carried out a joint research on early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease using nanotechnology.

Since the acute phase of Alzheimer disease precedes clinical symptoms of the disease, physicians need an accurate method which would excel brain biopsy for the diagnosis of this disease. It should be noted that reserve capacity of the brain will help patients tolerate early pathologic changes in the brain.

Professor Gholamali Mansouri and Dr. Amir Nazem have presented their research results in Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. They maintain that nanotechnology can be used to produce new tools for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease because nanotechnology will help doctors to detect very low concentrations of biomarkers of the disease.

In addition, by targeting accurate pathological changes accompanying those biomarkers, nanotechnology tools can help doctors diagnose Alzheimer disease in its early stages regardless of the amount of brain reserve capacity.

Testing biomarkers as well as LSPR nanosensors have been named as two methods which can be used for analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with regard to the existence of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer disease.

The researchers have noted that the main goal of early diagnosis of pathological changes in Alzheimer disease is production of a biosensor which could be planted in the brain to be safely used for long-term control of Alzheimer biomarkers in CSF. Such sensors would be able to transfer information related to Alzheimer biomarkers to the outside. The outside equipment will then detect signals and report concentration of Alzheimer disease’s biomarker in cerebrospinal fluid.

Dr. Mansouri, a professor of bioengineering and chemical engineering at the University of Illinois in Chicago has also noted that during the two-year research which has been carried out in cooperation with Dr. Amir Nazem from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, the researchers have studied use of nanotechnology for early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer disease. The results have been reported through a detailed paper in Journal of Alzheimer Disease.

He pointed out that according to their study, Alzheimer disease cannot be simply treated using nanotechnology techniques, but it can help to fashion a detector for early diagnosis of the disease. Since biomarkers of Alzheimer disease are usually found in CSF and do not usually enter bloodstream to be tested at the laboratory, nanotechnology can help researchers to detect them in the early stages of the disease. This is important because patients usually do not demonstrate signs of the disease until forgetfulness appear many years later.

Dr. Mansouri also stated that a project for preventing a special type of cancer using nanotechnology is underway and is undergoing formalities for patent registration and a plan is also going on to study proteins and biomolecules that can be used to treat cancer.

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