Blood Test Shows Promise as FTD Diagnostic Tool, Study Finds



A single blood test may be able to distinguish persons diagnosed with FTD from individuals with primary psychiatric disorders and could improve the FTD diagnostic process, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland assessed that a blood-based measurement of the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) — a protein found in the glial cells in the central nervous system — has the potential to be a useful tool in diagnosing FTD. The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, concluded that GFAP levels in those with FTD were higher compared to persons with psychiatric disorders and persons without health ailments.

According to a July 6 article published in News Medical, increased GFAP levels can be associated with brain atrophy and neuroinflammation. Elevated blood levels of GFAP predicted enhanced brain atrophy and faster disease progression in persons with FTD.

The study also indicated that this blood test could be an effective diagnostic tool in FTD on its own. However, when combined with blood-based measurements of neurofilament light (NfL) proteins, a recognized biomarker linked to neurodegeneration, it could further increase its diagnostic accuracy.

Read the full News Medical article here.

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