, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 267-275

Blood biologic markers of stroke: Improved management, reduced cost?

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Abstract

Identifying blood biomarkers may be of particular value in neurologic disorders such as stroke because of the difficulty in directly studying the brain and its blood vessels. Markers of brain injury, inflammation, excitotoxicity, and oxidative damage have been evaluated for their value in stroke diagnosis, treatment, and management, but none have proved to be sensitive or specific enough for routine clinical use. However, new cellular and molecular profiling approaches using the peripheral blood offer the potential for identifying panels of genes and proteins by increasing specificity while maintaining sensitivity. Furthermore, the first biomarker for predicting stroke risk associated with atherosclerosis (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2) was recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The ultimate aim for stroke biomarkers is to develop rapid, easy to use, widely available, and inexpensive diagnostic tests that can be used in the clinic and in clinical trials.