Neurofilament light chain
Cutting-edge testing to detect neurodegenerative disease
For patients who present with symptoms of cognitive decline, confirming neuronal damage or neurodegeneration is critical for deciding on the proper diagnostic pathway. Testing to detect for neurofilament light chain (NfL), a generic marker of neurodegeneration, is helpful to confirm disease presence and shows promise as an outcome predictor for several neurological conditions.
Propelled by Mayo Clinic-led research, Mayo Clinic Laboratories has implemented a first-in-class test that identifies NfL in blood. Validated to align with CAP and CLIA testing guidelines, the test is a digital ELISA assay that uses the state-of-the art Quanterix Simoa® platform to provide increased sensitivity for detection of NfL in plasma.
Test results that show an elevated NfL concentration confirm presence of a neurodegenerative disease process. This equips providers with increased confidence that their patients are on the correct diagnostic pathway while providing guidance on disease-specific assessments to shorten a patient’s diagnostic journey.
When to consider testing
Blood NfL as a marker of neuro-axonal injury shows promising associations with outcomes in several neurological conditions. Consider testing in suspected cases of neurodegeneration including Alzheimer’s disease, frontal temporal dementia, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease.
A Test in Focus
Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Ph.D., describes Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ new blood test to detect NfL, or neurofilament light chain protein. NfL is a biomarker for several neurodegenerative conditions. The new assay can determine if a patient’s cognitive decline is due to a neurodegenerative condition or some other, reversible condition — while avoiding the need for more-invasive testing of cerebrospinal fluid.