Biomarker could quickly diagnose stroke patients

Testing for the NR2 peptide can identify patients suffering from acute ischemic stroke within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, reports Medscape Today. The findings are backed by neuroimaging results.

NR2 is quickly released into the blood when the blood-brain barrier has been compromised, according to research presented at the American Neurological Association meeting. Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine and Kenneshaw State University in Georgia used CIS Biotech's Gold Dot NR2 peptide assay to measure peptide levels in 50 stroke patients and in an additional group of patients with stroke risk factors or symptoms that mimic stroke. They found that stroke patients had higher levels of the NR2 peptide compared to healthy subjects, with the highest levels found in patients 12 hours after the onset of symptoms.

"This is a simple test to do, and the preliminary data look excellent," noted Penn State researcher Kerstin Bettermann. "The real key now is to validate it in a larger study population, and we have applied to [the National Institutes of Health] for funds to do this." She added that the test could eventually be conducted in the emergency room to quickly identify stroke victims.

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