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Diagnostics Point of care testing, Neurology

Catching Stroke Early with Blood-Based Testing

We see the warnings everywhere – act FAST when you spot the signs of stroke. But what if the symptoms are not as obvious as the acronym? Catching stroke early is vital to preventing further cell death and neurological damage – but the lack of rapid, accessible testing makes it difficult for healthcare professionals to diagnose minor strokes.

A blood biomarker test could avoid these delays and prompt time-sensitive treatment – but requires markers specific to brain damage. Recognizing this need, researchers at Case Western Reserve University studied patterns of gene expression in tissue samples from both body and brain (1). Up to 50 potential blood biomarkers specific to neurological damage were identified, including many that had not previously been explored. The team hope their findings will open up new routes for stroke biomarker research and aid the development of a blood-based test.

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  1. G O’Connell et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 117, 20764 (2020). PMID: 32764143.

About the Author

Olivia Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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