Sjgrens affects between 1 million and 4 million Americans, primarily women over age 40. April is Sjgrens Syndrome Awareness Month.
The study will be described in the June 13 print issue of the American Chemical Societys Journal of Proteome Research, a peer-reviewed publication. ACS is the worlds largest scientific society.
Current methods to diagnose the disease involve a battery of tests, including painful invasive techniques using needles or biopsies to analyze bodily tissues and fluids, particularly in the eyes and mouth. Because of the complexity of the disease and its similarity to other disease symptoms or drug-induced conditions, Sjgrens can be difficult to diagnose. Diagnosis of the disease has been further complicated by the lack of biomarkers specific for the disease as well as its slow progress, the researchers say.
According to study leader Naohisa Tomosugi, M.D., of Kanazawa Medical University in Japan, the new painless technique would require that patients shed as little as a single teardrop, collected in a doctors office using special filter papers. The teardrop would then be analyzed in the laboratory for newly discovered protein biomarkers and results can be obtained in as little as one hour, Tomosugi says. The test, which is being refined, could be available to consumers in two to three years, he estimates.
The development of an accurate and noninvasive diagnostic test [for Sjgrens] would be of considerable value in the clinical field, Tomosugi says. Early dia
Contact: Mark Sampson
American Chemical Society