You are here

Biomarker indicating neurodegenerative disorders found in the eye

A new study by researchers at Boston Medical Center has shown that a biomarker that serves as a marker for the early diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases can now be found in the eye.

Author: Bolysbek Dana 

Editor: Merentsova Anastasia 



Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's are the result of nerve cells in the brain or peripheral nervous system, which become dysfunctional with age and eventually die. At the moment, there are only symptomatic treatments, and early treatment can only halt the progression of these diseases. 


The current goal of Alzheimer's research is to develop ways to diagnose the disease before symptoms appear so that early treatment can be initiated. At the moment, neurodegenerative diseases are diagnosed based on clinical manifestations and diagnostic studies - the appearance of symptoms means that the disease is already progressing. 


The light chain of neurofilament, a protein that is being investigated as a biomarker for detecting neurodegeneration, was previously only found in cerebrospinal fluid and blood. In the course of the study, this protein was also found in the eye fluid. 


For the study, scientists collected eye fluid samples from 77 patients. The results indicated that all 77 patients had a light chain of neurofilaments in the vitreous, and higher levels of this biomarker correlated with higher levels of other biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease, including B-amyloid and tau proteins. At the same time, the level of neurofilaments was in no way associated with eye diseases. 


The study, the researchers say, may facilitate diagnostic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases, making the procedure less invasive and more affordable.