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The following is a review of diagnostics related medical research worldwide

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available Sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

Welcome back to the StratCom monthly update, hope you had a healthy and productive summer. The following are highlights of diagnostics related events that took place in July and August 2000.

This site is updated monthly, feel free to visit and contact us.

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Research News for July and August 2000

Investigators with the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md., have found that higher concentrations of some neuropeptides in the blood of newborns may hint at the later development of autism or mental retardation. There are currently no known biomarkers for these disorders. Immunoassays measured vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), calcitonin-related gene peptide (CGRP), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neutrophin 4 (NT4), substance P (SP) and antibodies to myelin basic protein (MBP), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neuron axon filament protein (NAFP). A total of 97% of the 64 autistic children had above-normal concentrations of two or more growth factors, as did 95% of the 66 mentally retarded children and 8% of the 65 children with cerebral palsy (whether or not they were mentally retarded). None of the 54 controls had above-normal levels. Concentrations of SP and antibodies to MBP, GFAP and NAFP were not different in the four groups.

Stem cells make progress. Scientists at the University of California at San Diego have developed a human beta cell line that with further development could for the first time provide an unlimited source of cells for transplantation into type 1 diabetics. Also researchers at the University of Alberta, Edmonton have successfully transplanted islet cells harvested from donor pancreases into seven patients with type 1 diabetes. Their study, released in the New England Journal of Medicine (July) reported that all patients had maintained normal blood sugar control for an average of one year without insulin injections.

According to research conducted by NTD Laboratories in Huntington Station, New York, a combination of blood tests (free beta-hCG and pregnancy-associated plasma protein A) and an ultrasound examination can accurately diagnose Down syndrome during the first trimester of pregnancy. Currently, Down syndrome screening takes place during the second trimester of pregnancy. Earlier diagnosis of Down syndrome would provide women more time to make decisions about their pregnancy.
Source: Obstetrics and Gynecology 2000;96:207-213.

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