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First Non-Invasive, Rapid POC Test Diagnoses Parkinson’s Disease in 8 Minutes

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 13 Sep 2023
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Image: AXIM is also marketing a lactoferrin assay that can be used in conjunction with the new Synuclein test (Photo courtesy of AXIM)
Image: AXIM is also marketing a lactoferrin assay that can be used in conjunction with the new Synuclein test (Photo courtesy of AXIM)

Parkinson's Disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, following Alzheimer's, affecting over 10 million people globally. One key biomarker for PD is abnormal alpha-synuclein. A recent study found a surprising 93% of Parkinson’s patients who took part in the research had this abnormal alpha-synuclein. Moreover, new data indicates that tests for alpha-synuclein can help distinguish between people with PD and those without, making early identification of at-risk individuals possible. These findings underscore the significant role that alpha-synuclein plays both in classifying specific subgroups of Parkinson's patients and in identifying potential groups at risk based on this biomarker. Now, the world’s first rapid, point-of-care, non-invasive diagnostic assay can detect abnormal alpha-synuclein using a single tear drop.

The revolutionary new test developed by AXIM Biotechnologies (San Diego, CA, USA) is user-friendly, affordable, and can be performed right at the point of care. While earlier research showed that α-synuclein in its aggregated form can be found in tears, the methods used for collecting tears were cumbersome and outdated. For instance, the Schirmer Strip method was used to collect tears, which were then immediately frozen at very low temperatures before being sent to a lab. There, a 30-minute centrifugation was performed before the total protein content could be analyzed using complicated equipment. This older approach was not quick, simple, and cost-effective.

Unlike older methods, AXIM’s test does not require spinal taps, freezing samples, or lab processing. The assay uses a small drop of tear fluid and can be conducted in a medical office, with results available in under 10 minutes using a compact reader. Additionally, research has demonstrated that lactoferrin content is lower in PD patients. AXIM has already brought a lactoferrin test to market, which can be used alongside this new alpha-synuclein test.

“With this new assay, AXIM has immediately become a stakeholder in the Parkinson’s Disease community and through this breakthrough, we are making possible new paradigms for better clinical care, including earlier screening and diagnosis, targeted treatments, and faster, cheaper drug development,” said John Huemoeller II, CEO of AXIM Biotechnologies. “This is just the beginning for AXIM in this arena, but I am convinced when pharmaceutical companies, foundations and neurologists see how our solution can better help diagnose Parkinson’s Disease in such an expedited and affordable way, we will be at the forefront of PD research, enabling both researchers and clinicians a brand-new tool in the fight against PD.”

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