NIH Scientists Develop Test for Uncommon Brain Diseases
Published:17 Oct.2019    Source:National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health scientists have developed an ultrasensitive new test to detect abnormal forms of the protein tau associated with uncommon types of neurodegenerative diseases called tauopathies. As they describe in Acta Neuropathologica, this advance gives them hope of using cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF—an accessible patient sample—to diagnose these and perhaps other, more common neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.


Scientists have linked the abnormal deposition of tau in the brain to at least 25 different neurodegenerative diseases. However, to accurately diagnose these diseases, brain tissue often must be analyzed after the patient has died.