NEW YORK - A team of researchers led by an Indian-American scientist has developed a portable biosensor that can display the progress of Alzheimer's disease in a patient. A test on the cheap and simple biosensor can measure the level of protein called beta-amyloid -- increased level of which leads to the degeneration of brain cells and causes Alzheimer's -- in the blood at tiny concentrations in just half an hour.
"We want to develop a point of care system, where a small drop of blood plasma can reveal their beta-amyloid level immediately so that a doctor can tailor a patient's therapy immediately," said lead author Ajeet Kaushik from the University of Florida in the US. The protein, which is found in lower levels in blood, makes it a useful biomarker to diagnose and monitor the disease progression. A quick test on the biosensor can reveal a clinician to collect accurate information on the progression of disease and see what is happening to a patient over time. It will also show if and when the disease reaches an untreatable level, the authors reported in the study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics. The researchers pointed out that the affordable test can be useful in both developed countries and rural settings. Also with the right data, doctors can respond quickly to changes in a patient's brain by reducing or increasing their dose of drugs.