NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Aethlon Medical's diagnostic subsidiary Exosome Sciences and the Boston University CTE Center are collaborating to advance a blood-based diagnostic candidate for potential use in identifying chronic traumatic encephalopathy in living individuals.
In the collaboration announced today, Exosome Sciences researchers are evaluating and defining exosome and exosomal tau populations in blood samples of patients enrolled in the Diagnosing and Evaluating Traumatic Encephalopathy Using Clinical Tests (DETECT) study. Earlier this year, Exosome researchers isolated exosome-based biomarkers that transport tau protein across the blood-brain barrier into the circulatory system. An excess accumulation of tau in the brain is associated with CTE.
DETECT, which is being led by BU CTE Center Director Robert Stern, is the first CTE research project to be funded by the National Institutes of Health, Exosome Sciences said. The National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke, the National Institute on Aging, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development are supporting the project with the goal of developing methods for diagnosing CTE while a patient is still alive. CTE is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that has been found in former National Football League players and other athletes in contact sports, and currently the disorder can be diagnosed only through a post-mortem autopsy.
Former NFL players between the ages of 40 and 69 and a control group of athletes of the same age who played non-contact sports are enrolled in DETECT.